Monday, July 31, 2017

1d15 Major Lovecraftian Enounters Table & Details Of The Old Solar System Campaign

Like a worm-fretted visage from the tomb,
The moon unswathes her hollow, shrunken head,
Launching such light as foulders on the dead
From pallid skies more death-like than the gloom.
Under her beams the breasted lands assume
Dead hues, and charnel shapes unceremented;
And shadows that towering sepulchers might shed
Move livid as the shadows on dials of doom.

On hills like tumuli, and waters mute,
A whiteness steals as of a world made still
When reptant Death at last rears absolute—
An earth now frozen by malefice of eyes
Aeonian dooms and realm-deep rigors fill—
The gaze of that Medusa of the skies.

Mankind continues to live, love, and adventure on Old Earth but he is joined by newer races. The progency of vampires, ghouls, ghosts, monsters, and much worse exists along side of him. 
'Madness rides the star-wind... claws and teeth sharpened on centuries of corpses... dripping death astride a bacchanale of bats from nigh-black ruins of buried temples of Belial...'

"The Hound" Written September 1922, published February 1924 in Weird Tales, 3, No. 2, 50–52, 78

Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse. H. P. Lovecraft
Read more at:
Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse. H. P. Lovecraft
Read more at:

As the Boreas winds blow through the solar system the madness and insanity of the stars coming right has brought new & strange eons to Earth. From the hidden places & weird corners under the Earth came the men of
Xinaián, the last of the Hyperboreans from their old colonies inside the hidden grottoes of the Asteroid field, & the Atlanteans from the deepest parts of the oceans of the Earth. They came to take back what was theirs once again. From out of the show places came the serpent men & their half formed plagues that left many changed in their images. Saturn now appears in the night sky & the 'Old Earth' has turned dangerous & whimsical.

Adherer mutants sacrifice adventurers or anyone they  to uncaring gods while K'n -yan necromancers pay those same adventurers for the treasures of ancient tombs. Berbalang trade bits of sorcerers knowledge for slaves to implant young while Dark Stalker assassins enforce the wills of their lich lord royals along with their undead kings & queens.

The wasteland are dotted with thousands of ruins of the old world & there are ancient treasures to be had. There are adventurers, slayers, opportunists who roam the wastelands looking for the secrets of the ancient ones. Many has lost the secrets of  Hyperspace & faster then light travel & only his atomic rockets now ply between the stars except for the occasional ancient Hyperborean ship or Lumerian space barges. They pay pennies for the treasures of the ancients but still the Amazon knights, the Celtic warriors, the foolish Atlantian wizards all come to the city states to sell their wares like little children with toys. But the cities are dangerous places and the wastelands of Europe are the bastion for cults of worshipers of Thasaidon, Tsathoggua, Cthulhu & others are vaguely aware that epochs have come & gone. The stars will not be right again for millions of years but rumors of the return of the Elder Things & report of sightings the Yithians continue. But the dire cults of Shub-Niggurath, Nug and Yeb, Ghatanothoa thrive in what was the Fornia basin rift.

Meanwhile the Old Mars colony worlds have come alive with life once again as The Dweller in the Gulf & its brother/sister deity Vulthoom have brought back  the Aihai, & the various multi colored races from within the underworld of what was Barsoom. Already the Green Martian war clans stalk the dry basin seas and the alien jungles have bloomed once again but the human settlements have been caught short but the alien exploitation corporation thinks they have situation well in hand they don't. Atomic rocket ships take off from the Old Earth city states and cross over with slow atomic cargo ships from Mars & the Outer Worlds while rocket jockeys take much needed medicine, supplies, etc to the Martian colonies.

These are dangerous times as adventurers are only now starting to exploit the wastelands & wilde of what was China,Russia, and most of Eurasia. A brand new land locked sea and environs are rumored to be the home of pig demons, shape shifters, and ancient enemies of mankind better left to the imaginations of children. This is a dangerous time my friends best to protect yourself and your friends with a membership in an adventurers guild. 

1d15 Major Lovecraftian Encounters Table
  1. 1d20 serpent men slavers & their bodyguards who are armed with energy weapons and stun blasters they are traveling on the backs of giant lizard birds. They will parley for certain artifacts or magick but have little to do with humans on the whole. 
  2. A group of 1d8 royal white ape warriors on mutant horse back who are to deliver an important spell book and artifact set to a wizard who is offering 30,000 gold pieces for brand new artifacts. They are armed with conventional firearms. 
  3. A group of human knights escorting an Amazon sorcerer on her way to a wizard's guild tower installation. She is very interested in local affairs and any reports of monsters in the area. The knights are on cyber horse back and are armed with +2 swords and ray pistols 
  4. An Atlantian team of adventurers and spies on their way to a temple of Poseidon as they are trying to avoid 2 teams of Deep One assassins  & a death squad out to exterminate them. 
  5. A  squad of Pict mercenaries on their way to deal with the threat of a cult of shape shifting demons who has wiped out over 50 settlements of their employers. They need help and are willing to pay 1d500 gold pieces per head of adventurers. There is a minor priest of Thulu among them. 
  6. A body jumping priest of the Great Race of Yith is moving closer to the PC's to kill one of them to prevent a great disruption to their plans for their future. 
  7. An auction is being held in one of the nearby city states for artifacts belonging to the flying polyps and there are rumors of Hyperborean assassins who are in the area to kill anyone attempting to sell them. An item recently purchased by one of the PC's actually holds an alien code ring belonging to the polyps. 
  8. A scroll for summoning a star spawn of Thulu has come on the market one of the PC's has been called to the auction house for unknown reasons by a wasteland wizard! There are 1d10 minor wizards who will be escorting the PC to the auction house for unknown reasons!?
  9. One of the minor deities of Earth's Dreamlands is on the PC's trail and wants a word for a mission involving the party recovering an artifact belonging to a cult of Shub-Niggurath,
  10. A dungeon belonging to the alien wizard FzzBTty 'the holy one ' wants  some of the adventurers  to travel to his dungeon setting to accompany him to the end of the   world via a star gate. 
  11. A lone mad man is trying to sacrifice an entire village in the valley below. There are lots of opportunities  to stop this insane fool. 
  12. A lone minor demon has targeted a caravan in the wastelands and they are willing to pay 40,000 gold pieces for someone to stop these horrid attacks. There is a black magick spell book out in the wastes that holds this information. 
  13. There is a rumored copy of the Necromonicon that has surfaced on the black market. Already there are 1d8 Ju Ju zombie assassins on the trail of the thing. They will not stop at anything to obtain it including murdering and or cursing the party. 
  14. A lone Penanggalan  sister hood member has asked for adventurers in the hopes that they can help stop the brotherhood of Quachil Uttaus from ripping apart and destroying a the entire team.
  15. A priest of Yig,a serpent man has been making inquiries to the where about of the PC's. He's got a vendetta against one the PC's?! He's willing to spread a curse of yig spell against an entire town not to mention the PC's. He's very dangerous and highly insane but functional in a sort of methodical kinda way.
     The above commentary,gaming material  & opinions are copyrighted & trademarked to the author. Artwork from the Fiend Folio first edition used without permission.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Continuing Legacy Of The Purple Islands Actual Play Event & Commentary On Battle For The Purple Islands Kickstarter

The PC's managed to drag the were bear shaman from the clutches of the demon chains & begin to heal his wounds from the last encounter with some of the ghostly inhabits of Tegel Manor. But the purple shadow of Venger Satanis's The Purple Islands of Purple Putrescence casts a dark reflection on reality.

So last night I got together with my players inside Tengel Manor, one of my Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers Of Hyperborea PC's is a shaman that bares the marks & relics of his time on Venger Satanis's The Purple Islands of Purple Putrescence. His weaponry & power comes from the purple god things & crystals of the islands. The spiritual connection with the islands is strong and their gods take an active role in the PC's adventuring. This suits the shaman character as he continues to search for his people especially among the wilds of Hyperborea.

So in last night's game in Tengel Manor the PC's were dealing with some of the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies of the manor. They made it into the clacking hall and dealt with a wraith who wanted to drop one of the PC's into a trap door with a shoggoth below waiting to munch on him. That didn't work out for the wraith as he was discorporated by a lucky shot from one of the other PC's. This was after a lengthy rpg style argument with the wraith trying to maneuver the PC over the trap door. Things did not go well after that for the wraith!
The PC's managed to shut the trap door & search the room for treasure at least for a bit. They also discovered a journal & accounting ledger which detailed the various islanders,fishermen,etc. the wraith/slave trader had sold from the dungeons under Tegel manor. The journal detailed some of the explorations of this depraved member of the Rump line who spent time on the purple islands.

Shoggoth monster from The Lost Continenent 1961 from Hammer studios
The PC's continued to explore coming across a bedroom that belonged to one of the members of the Rump household. Striges attacked the PC's and they burned the room except for the valuable sword hanging on the wall a memento of one of the many wars of Hyperborea. There's a deep and abiding tie in with the islands of Purple Putrescence but it gets even more exploited in The Battle For The Purple Islands Kickstarter coming up. So what essentially are the islands?
'The purple islands (there's three of them very close together, and are usually considered a single place) is an eldritch science-fantasy setting with gonzo sword & sorcery.  Both books will be usable with any sort of Lost World, Mars, Dream Lands, Hyborian Age, alternate Earth ruled by civilized apes or menaced by dinosaurs and sleestak, or a world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery.'
So how does this all tie into my own twisted version of Tegel Manor? Notice I said that these plot points didn't tie into the
The Battle For The Purple Islands ... yet.   Well the players moved the time table up for me on this one. They met with a vital NPC & discorporated him for the moment.

In yesterday's update Venger dropped a vital clue to the tie in between the purple islands and my twisted  version of Tegel Manor.
"I re-watched The Green Inferno today.  Going to incorporate some of that in Battle For The Purple Islands.  ;)" Thanks for spilling that little vital clue that ties back into one of the Rump line who was an explorer or should I say exploiter of weird little corners of the multiverse. Passel Rump wasn't the kind of a guy you really wanted to hang around unless it was to have a slave collar round your neck or to be sacrificed on a stone altar in some godless corner of the various universes. This all ties back into an NPC I created that one of the players killed about three campaigns ago when I first laid hands on the Islands for Purple Putrescence.
The Battle For The Purple Islands is going to push up certain time table events for my players and the clock is ticking not only for the Kickstarter but for my PC's to save those islanders before they become a sacrifice to some ancient & malevolent Lovecraftian god. And why is the manor moving across time and space?! How does this tie into a dimensional traveler whose been watching the PC's from the shadows of Tegel Manor?

What sort of shadowy corruption has Sir Tristan the knight from Albion stumbled into? The PC's have found several corpses in the gardens of Tegel Manor, the Keltic were bear shaman was a part of the mercenary knight's party. What other secrets has the fool stumbled upon and be corrupted by? He's far from home and the clock is starting to tick, tick, down for not only his party but for you too! The Battle For The Purple Islands is moving closer to winding down and now its your turn to help bring this project to life!

Time to open your hearts and wallets for the The Battle For The Purple Islands Kickstarter As The End Draws Naught!

Tick, tick, tick, ...

1d6 Random Dangerous Mythos Adventure Locations Table of the 'Old Solar' System

There are dangerous places that people forget about where deep under the Earth the remains of the past are coming to impinge on the lives of those above. Cycles of Earth live, breath, and die but are seldom gone. With violence & weirdness these place burst upon the Earth. They're legacies in darkness & horror awaken when foolish adventurers and trespassers stumble upon them.

Thasaidon, lord of seven hells
Wherein the single Serpent dwells,
With volumes drawn from pit to pit
Through fire and darkness infinite —
Thasaidon, sun of nether skies,
Thine ancient evil never dies,
For aye thy somber fulgors flame
On sunken worlds that have no name,
Man's heart enthrones thee, still supreme,
Though the false sorcerers blaspheme.
The Song of Xeethra

In the shadows of former glory & power mankind has built & rebuilt his destiny. There are places that seldom get mentioned today for they have grown wary & tired in the ways of the world but below the surface an evil and depravity sleeps to awaken every eon or so. Places whose names are lost to history but whose legacies live on amid the realm of legend and forbidden mythologies.

Wise is the adventurer who consults a scribe or sorcerers of the forbidden or the black arts upon the history of these places if he or she can even find such an individual. These scribes are often jealously guarded or secreted away by black magick guilds or the like. The cost of such a consultation will be at least 100,000 gold pieces and or a minor artifact of magic or super science. There are demonic powers from Saturn & the outer worlds that can be consulted but they are best left alone. Adventurers however are not wise nor the most patient of individuals.
"I have helped you heretofore in all things," said the image, with stony and sonorous accents that were echoed metallically in the seven silver lamps. "Yea, the undying worms of fire and darkness have come forth like an army at your summons, and the wings of nether genii have risen to occlude the sun when you called them. But, verily, I will not aid you in this vengeance you have planned: for the emperor Zotulla has done me no wrong and has served me well though unwittingly; and the people of Xylac, by reason of their turpitudes, are not the least of my terrestial worshippers. Therefore, Namirrha, it were well for you to live in peace with Zotulla, and well to forget this olden wrong that was done to the beggar-boy Narthos. For the ways of destiny are strange, and the workings of its laws sometimes hidden; and truly, if the hooves of Zotulla's palfrey had not spurned you and trodden you under, your life had been otherwise, and the name and renown of Namirrha had still slept in oblivion as a dream undreamed. Yea, you would tarry still as a beggar in Ummaos, content with a beggar's guerdon, and would never have fared forth to become the pupil of the wise and learned Ouphaloc; and I, Thasaidon, would have lost the lordliest of all necromancers who have accepted my service and my bond. Think well, Namirrha, and ponder these matters: for both of us, it would seem, are indebted to Zotulla in all gratitude for the trampling he gave you."
The Dark Eidolon  (1935)  by Clark Ashton Smith

1d6 Random Dangerous Mythos Adventure Locations Table of the 'Old Solar' System 

  1. The Fragment of Naree'a - This place is slightly out of phase with the local time space continuum as it orbits in the shadow of Jupiter. There are hundreds of Yithians dealing with and engineering time/space engines of incredible cosmic design. Anyone landing on or even encountering them will be captured and taken to the great vaults below the Naree'a structure for preservation. Here there are seven floors of ancient and forbidden treasures a waiting the alien agenda of the Great Race. 
  2. The Singing  Deserts of Titan - The moon titan once contained and will again the great deserts made from the nanite sands of a long forgotten race. They are or were the alien memories of their long forgotten creators but on days when the sun shines upon this world. The starlight sparks memories and long forgotten cities rear themselves into existence for 1d10 months. Those who land here might become a part of the memories as the nanites tear them apart and make them a part of the permanent collection. However anyone who is able to collect a vial of this sand may be able with super science computers or magick might reconstruct the lost database of racial memories of this long forgotten race.  
  3. Cript Castle - This ancient ruined castle of human design is long since gone but seven levels below it there is the house of light an ancient Elder Thing processing and research complex within it are the biological echoes of a long gone segment of the Elder Thing's history. Those venturing into this complex will be assaulted by the telepathic memories of the Elder Things. The victim genetic structure will be  changed by the viruses and bacteria that live on the walls of this place feeding on the incredible power that still courses through the place. There are thousands of gold pieces worth of Elder Thing equipment & relics but its guarded by the undead mutant things that venture down here. There are rumors that they are evolving. 
  4. The Play Pen of The Genii - This was once a strange energy cube that belonged to an ancient strain of the Mi Go. The place now rests below a monastery's ruins. For thousands of years the order that worked here summoned demonic essences from beyond for their own benign purposes. That time is now long gone and there are strange genii energies that wish to break through and ravage the land. There are several thousand gold pieces of magick equipment and treasure here left by long forgotten peoples or things. 
  5. The Crypts of Rru - There is an asteroid that houses 1d8 ancient vampire lords who guard seven cryptic books of the ancient god Thasaidon. For thousands of years their dreaming song of praise has kept the demonic god in check but now adventurers might disturb their sleep of the ages. There are several thousand gold pieces in funeral treasures here. For now they sleep, dream, and wait. 
  6. The alien sorcerer of Vru waits and watches above the roaring winds of Jupiter held in place by ancient time/space generator. His thoughts and dreams take the shape of alien monsters and demons long forgotten. He watches the alien god thing that Jupiter holds prisoner and has for millions of years but he needs adventurers for a suicide mission. He can offer a thousand relics or secrets but he must act soon for his master
    Thasaidon, lord of seven hells is impatient at best.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

1d6 Random Major Lovecraftian Treasures of the Old Solar System Table

Deep in the whirling Boreas winds there are thousands of bits and pieces of debris that comes from the far reaches of the blackness of space. Reminds of other worlds from beyond the black void of space itself. These things fall to the hills and hidden places of the world where they take on a life of their own. Some of these items carry with them the taint of ages and chaos. They are dangerous and horrid in ways that are weird & dangerously ironically  strange. These treasures  lead their owners to fates that are best left to the imaginations of the insane.

Finding one of these items might be a major turning point in a campaign for they're sinks of fate and divine providence themselves. There will be 1d6 minor factions going after these items within a campaign and all of them will be very dangerous. Some of these items will have 1d8 or more powers listed in the first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragon's Dungeon Master's Guide

Many of these treasures have been lost out near Jupiter & the outer worlds of the solar system. They are capable of great evil if left unchecked. These artifacts often have their own agenda and a specialist black wizard costing up to 50,000 gold pieces must be consulted before even accessing their powers. Lovecraftian cults will stop at nothing for acquiring these treasures. Wizards & assassins are least of the PC's problems if they stumble upon these items.

1d6 Random Major Treasures of the Old Solar System Table 
  1. A strange red and yellow gold crown and chain combination that is actually a crown of command with thousands of Great Race of Yith signs & symbols. The chain allows the thing to move across dimensions and rumors have it that the entire assembly allowed the owner to see across time and space. The crown is actually a conduit to the minds of the Great Races's super scientists! 200,000
  2. Rings and whirls are writ all across this strange lead and gold bracelet that will not fit a single human hand or arm. It is said to have been an artifact of the Elder Things and the owner of this bracelet will feel the telepathic weight of the original owners. The owner may once per day access the alien telepathic mind's data pool for true insight into the race's collective racial memory. Worth 700,000 gold pieces
  3. A jeweled brain cylinder belonging to Mi Go which houses the mind of an ancient evil queen of ancient Atlantis within its confines. The brain belongs to an ancient queen of Mu. The thing is resistant to mankind's dreams and telepathic probes. The brain is a psychic of at least the fourth power enabling 1d8 powers of a mentalist to be present within it. The brain has its own agenda.It  will try to possess one of the PC's & trap them within its jeweled brain cylinder. The cylinder is worth 600,660 gold pieces. 
  4. A piece of a Great Race of Yith's time machine that seems inert and dead. That is until one of the PC's picks it up. The machine is still in operation just not in the the local space time.This piece is a super string circuit piece of machine that will move both the mind and body of anyone with a 20 foot radius into a another local alternative dimension where 1d8 members of the Great Race are holding an on going experiment. They will immediately try to capture and mind switch with the PC's then return to the campaign world. However the piece of machine can be handled with lead gloves & its powers accessed via the signs & symbols on its surface.
  5. Ring of the Great One - This strange yellow & blue golden ring is twice the size of a human hand and allows the owner to stand outside of the local space time continuum. They can see & access the local astral plane, there 1d8 'secret chief's' await them to transport their mind to beginning of time for true cosmic awareness. They must avoid the hounds of Yrir'ti who hunt and slay these beings, they work for a very dangerous aspect of Hastur. The ring is worth 400,000 gold and his been lost since the fall of Atlantis. 
  6. Ark of the Elder Things - This strange yellow & ruby cask is worth 700,00 gold pieces and contains within it the first of the weaponized shoggoths whose mind was too powerful. The thing has access to 1d6 black magick spells and 1d8 Mentalist powers but its consciousness is stunted. It needs another mind to access the higher realms of consciousness. But the thing has an insane hunger for murder, conquest, and baser alien needs of an incredibly warped nature. The ark was used to transform and terraform lesser worldlets out near Jupiter.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mini OSR Fall Campaign Idea Using 'In Search of Adventure: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos Anthology (Dungeons and Dragons Supermodule B1-9)' & Some Free Old School Appendix N Downloads

"THRESHOLD! The northernmost town in the Duchy - and your last stop before your adventures begin. Threshold, the gateway to mysterious castles, lost temples, deadly caves and caverns. You have heard the stories and legends, now you wish to see for yourself. This product provides a complete campaign adventure that will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 3rd level and possibly beyond, drawn from the first nine modules of the B-series adventures."

So one thing that that last night's Legion of Gold run through provided me with two things, 1. Folks are interested in a post apocalyptic setting for old school play 2. The mix in of D&D or retroclone material & or systems works very well together. But there was grumblings that B10 Night's Dark Terror By Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, Phil Gallagher might be a bit too hard  for a beginning group of adventurers.  What's an old school DM to do who wants to mix a bit of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea with a weird proto Russian pulp mythological feel?
Well you go back to basics & pull out another connected classic and in this case its
In Search of Adventure. B1-9 gives an over arching interconnected plot thread to a number of older modules for placement into Mystara. But it can also be used to build these into a post apocalyptic wasteland. This was something that gave an ex friend of mine fits and shakes.
"In Search of Adventure is a collection of parts of the first nine B-series D&D Basic Set modules, with a frame provided to fit the adventures into the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, the first country treated in the D&D Gazetteer game supplement series.[1] The modules B1-B9 include: B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 The Keep on the Borderlands, B3 Palace of the Silver Princess, B4 The Lost City, B5 Horror on the Hill, B6 The Veiled Society, B7 Rahasia, B8 Journey to the Rock, and B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond.
The adventures in In Search of Adventure can be strung together in one of three new overarching plots using an adventure flow chart, depending on where the players head off from their starting point in the town of Threshold"
This gives the campaign old-fashioned dungeons by world-class designers like Gary Gygax, Doug Niles,&  Tom Moldvay. 
You can see the changes to these old school classics by the then staff of TSR in the Wiki entry. 
You've got secret societies, factions, adventure locations, political intrigue, and more.  This gives the structure & outline to a campaign setting & adventure flow to the whole affair. But that's only part of this now when we start looking into back tying this into Clark Aston Smith, A.Merritt, and the rest of the Lovecraft circle its Catherine Lucille Moore's Earth's Last Citadel which was reprinted in the July 1950 edition of Fantastic Novels that ties it all together.The weight of ages past & the weirdness of the Earth's Last Citadel echoes Clark Ashton Smith's  The The Tomb Spawn in many ways. Weird life forms living on the edges and fringes of Earth's last epochs.

Earth's Last Citadel is part time travel novel, part pulpy adventure, and has a style that echoes the William Hope Hodgson's Nightland without the hard bits to get through. There's a breezy pulpy style that mates up with Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique cycles of novels. The plot is pure pulpy goodness;"During World War II, four people (two belonging to the Allies, two to the Axis) find a strange vehicle in the Tunisian desert. It whisks them to the far future where the Earth has been conquered and mankind is nearly extinct."
You Can Download Earth's Last Citadel from the July 1950 edition of Fantastic Novels right here

All of this mates up with A.Merritts Dweller in the Mirage,the regions of Alaska in North America & Russia have rejoined we might have something very similar to the world of Night's Dark Terror & In Search of Adventure. The stars might have come right with the emergence of the horrors from the fringe & lost places of the world. There ages undreamt of before Zothique and that's when the events of this campaign are going to be taking place.
"THE MOUND" by H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop really does give the feel for these sorts of preserves where the true masters of the cults of Cthulhu dwell.   A. Merritt's Dwellers in the Mirage first published in book form in 1932 by Horace Liveright gives full details about the
faction that worships the evil Kraken named Khalk'ru.You can read Dwellers in the Mirage With The Happy Ending Here From Fantastic Novels v03n03 (1949 09)

So I'm working on factions, races, and more coming up for my Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Fall/Winter campaign so keep those dice rolling!

 The above commentary & opinions are copyrighted & trademarked to the author.  The role playing systems mentioned in this blog post are copy righted and trade marked to their authors and companies this blog post is not an attempted to violate those trade marks this blog post is for entertainment and educational purposes only.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gamma World: Legion of Gold GW1 Exploration Module 1981 - Actual Play Event For Gary Gygax Day

"There is much to worry about in the mutated world of the future, but Baron Jemmas, Warder of Horn, has more on his mind than most. In recent weeks several of the outlying towns of his Barony have been wiped out by a band of mysterious golden marauders.

These creatures struck from nowhere and vanished without a trace when their deeds were done. The Warder has decided that they must be stopped before the entire Barony of Horn falls beneath their onslaught, and so he is offering a great reward to anyone who can defeat the Legion of Gold


So to celebrate Gary Gygax day I wanted to do something a bit different so I ran an old favorite of mine with one of the side quests from the Gamma World: Legion of Gold GW1 Exploration Module 1981. Things went off rather smoothly on my side of the screen.
Legion of Gold is a mini sandbox of Gamma World goodness,
written by Gary Gygax with the help of his son Luke and Paul Reiche III. It remains one of my all time favorite Gamma World modules because its as much Gamma World tool kit as it is adventure.

Legion of Gold has a bit of everything that I love in my Gamma World adventures & sets the tone of how I play and DM my Gamma World adventures post-apocalyptic pulp science fantasy with fictional trappings & settings. The tone in tonight's game was deadly earnest as the 'Bug ems' claimed the lives of two mutant adventurers deep in the bowels of their nests. Wanyne's Books has a good break down of everything included in Legion of Gold;'Legion of Gold presented the Gamma World Referee with the first official campaign area (The Barony of Horn) near Lake Michigan. A buggem nest and an underwater ancient complex await the players. New creatures, new robots, and new weapons. '

There's something really creepy about the whole affair of Legion of Gold, its nonlinear structure presents a setting that is part post apocalyptic fantasy and half classic 50's drive in movie on steroids. The Bug Em lair reminds me of the 1954 film 'Them' especially the end of the giant ant terror inside of the nest.

The pace of the adventure went smoothly with the PC's wandering across the landscape of the post-apocalyptic version of southern Wisconsin setting. The players were worried having played in other Gamma World adventures such as Famine in Fargo which links up and dovetails in with the events of Famine in Fargo. Both adventures are a credit to their authors and designers. Legion of Gold is one of the greatest sci-fi gems of the 70's.A classic adventure that has all of the right elements in all of the right places. Its easy to run & can be used as a one night stand or as a part of an on going Gamma World campaign.
The lethal mutant menace under the Earth claimed the lives of more fool hardy adventurers and mutants tonight.

There are enough loose threads from tonight's Legion of Gold adventure romp that at some future date I might pick back up on this classic adventure for more mutant menace action! Happy birthday and Gary Gygax day from Connecticut!

More OSR Commentary - Happy International Gary Gygax Day!

So today is the birthday of one of the creators of not just Dungeons & Dragons but the modern table top role playing game hobby Gary Gygax. For the OSR & indeed millions of gamers across planet Earth its Gary Gygax day today. This was a man who wrote, designed, gamed, &  lived life on his own terms. This is how I still think of Gary Gygax, I found a picture of him at a September 1999 Modcon  event in Italy the photo of the man by Moroboshi. This is how I still think of  Mr.Gygax out in the world promoting the hobby, playing the game that made him famous, giving advice, playing the war & board games he loved, & spending time with the family he loved.

In the minds of friends & family its his birthday, a today is a bitter sweet reminder that friend, father, & man who touched so many lives is gone. Yet for  many of his friends & family he seems alive to this day, his memory alive kept by the Gygax family & friends through Garycon.  Do I have a Gary Gygax story? Yes I have several. But the one that sticks in my mind goes something like this.

I met Gary Gygax very briefly at a Gencon  & that encounter sticks in my mind. I spoke with Gary Gygax about his involvement with shoe patch & leather working  sewing machines. The guy with the easy going manner,who took the time to speak for a few minutes with me(a fan), signed something Dungeons & Dragons related & then got whisked way by another Dungeons & Dragons fan. Well that brief encounter was enough for me. I got a pretty good measure of who the man was a down to Earth guy but  a sharp and very intelligent gamer & author. This was a guy who would happily mop the floor with you across a war gaming board or kill off a PC if your actions dictated it. Years later, I was reading through a Game Spy Gary Gygax interview on the history of Dungeons & Dragons by
Allen Rausch which bore this exact sentiment out.
Because of my father's condition(he's fine but I've had to pick up a lot of the slack in the sewing machine repair business) I don't know when I'll make GaryCon but eventually I will. In the meantime to celebrate the day I intend to do a bit of campaign brainstorming and gaming with friends tonight. So get together with friends, chuck some dice, and celebrate the birthday of one of the creators of  this crazy hobby of ours! Game on!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Five Random & Unusual Spicy Finds Table For Dark Albion & Your Old School Campaigns

In Dark Albion's setting gold isn't the only precious commodity. The rich & elite not only prepare for war out in the open but flaunt their wealth in other ways. Sugars and spices are a major treasures and the occasional sugar party would play a vital role in upper strata social circles.

As the War of the Roses brews in Albion a raider sights an unusual ship of the French frogmen bound for the ports of their demonic home. The battle is fierce, bloody, & brilliantly fast as they take the ship quickly before the dire magicks of the demon frogs come down on the captain & his crew's heads. The safron, ginger, & mace would bring an incredible price in the ports of Albion but it was the Moroccan sugar that made this lightning raid worth the blood & murder of his crew.

We think of treasure in terms of gold, silver, the relics of the Elves, & other easily identifiable finds in original Dungeons & Dragons as well as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition. But in historical campaigns especially ones like Dark Albion set during the War of the Roses there is a far greater set of treasures that gets over looked by dungeon masters. I'm speaking of spices especially sugar which the Albionian palette just can't get enough of especially the time of the War of the Roses between 1455 and 1487.
According to the 'History of Spices' from the McCormick Science Institute;"
Marco Polo mentioned spices frequently in his travel memoirs (about 1298). He described the flavor of the sesame oil of Afghanistan and the plants of ginger and cassia of Kain-du (the city of Peking), where people drank a flavorful wine of rice and spices. He reported that the wealthy in Karazan ate meat pickled in salt and flavored with spices, while the poor had to be content with hash steeped in garlic. He mentioned in Hangchow, 10,000 pounds of pepper were brought into that heavily populated city every day. Polo also described vast plantings of pepper, nutmegs, cloves, and other, valuable spices he had seen growing in Java and in the islands of the China Sea, and the abundance of cinnamon, pepper, and ginger on the Malabar Coast of India. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Polo’s accounts led to an increased international spice trade during the 13th and early 14th centuries.
When Christopher Columbus set out on his second voyage (1493), he brought the Spanish physician Diego Chanca, who helped to discover the spices capsaicin (red pepper) and allspice for Spanish cuisine.
King Manual had a large influence on bringing spices to Portugal. Several sea voyages helped establish a trade route to India. In 1501, the port of Lisbon, Portugal had large quantities of Indian spices such as cinnamon, cassia, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, mace, and cloves. King Manuel sent trade missions to develop new markets for his spices throughout Europe, especially in Germany. As the spice wealth poured into Lisbon, the Portuguese crown monopolized the lucrative but risky pepper trade. Cargoes of East Indian vessels were sold at high prices by the king of Portugal to large European syndicates. As in medieval times, the price of pepper served as a barometer for European business in general."

Photo of Sugar loaf by Petr Adam Dohnálek

Sugar was/is the plaything of the rich and elite especially in Albion where its a valued & very well looked after commodity of the wealthy. According to Wiki;' The earliest record to date appears to be 12th century in Jordan,[2] though reference to a cone of sugar is found in al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar's 9th century Arabic Al-Akhbar al-Muwaffaqiyyat. In Europe, they were made in Italy from 1470, Belgium 1508, England 1544, Holland 1566, Germany 1573 and France 1613.[3] When refining from sugar beet began in mainland Europe in 1799, loaves were produced in the same way and are still common in some parts, especially in Germany, where small loaves are a required ingredient for the Christmas season drink Feuerzangenbowle.'

So this means that adventurers might stumble into some very valuable and highly prized spice cargos during adventures in the world of Albion. Here are five unusual spice themed finds. Remember that the elite of Albion are more then happy to murder for the chance for a higher profit margin. Taxes are going to be collected and smuggling is a crime.

The frogmen of France could be using the spice markets of the world to help finance their small brush fire wars that lead to their impending invasion of England. The PC's are going to have to contend with this and the circumstances around the War of the Roses in Albion.

Five Random Unusual Spicy Finds Table
  1. Forty pounds of the very best quality Saffron worth 600 shillings 
  2. Three  hundred pounds of sugar cones worth 300 shillings,the sugar must be brought to a confectioner to bring out its best qualities. 
  3.  Six hundred pounds of pepper corns from the East will bring 800 shillings on the open market. 
  4. three hundred pounds of exotic spices worth 900 shillings once again it must be brought to professionals to bring out their best qualities
  5. 60 pounds of  a slightly higher quality Elven Safron has been grown and not seen in three hundred years worth 800 shillings. Whose producing it & where is it coming from? This development could destabilize the market!?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How Will 'The Battle For The Purple Islands Kickstarter' Be Affecting My Campaigns - Actual Play Commentary

The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence are in my campaigns one of the sources of all kinds of crossover potential because they're adventure location holes in the cheese cloth of the multiverse. So while my campaign of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea has been incredibly active with the islands apparently Venger Satanis the original author has wanted to go back to them.

While my players have managed to escape the islands some months ago, their PC's were incredibly changed by the islands themselves. Remember that this is an 'Adult' title with a completely over the top and gonzo comic book style brought to you by Venger himself. This was one of the reasons why I surprised to see another Kickstarter going from Venger about the Battle For The Purple Islands the basic plot is, 'an OSR scenario of warring factions competing for dominance in a purple world gone mad.'

I was very surprised to see that MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal)  

was already involved in this newest Kickstarter venture from Venger Satanis, because he's got his own Midderlands campaign Kickstarter wrapping up within this week!  Go here To Support It

So how will the Battle For The Purple Islands be affecting my on going campaign? Well let's look into the book's book's background;

"Battle For The Purple Islands will be a 12 - 15 page PDF adventure that uses the purple islands as a backdrop.  While the original book was a hex-crawl full of encounters, scenario seeds, random tables, magic (items), and helpful advice, this will be a specific, focused adventure involving various warring factions competing for dominance in a purple world gone mad... or is that a mad world gone purple?
You see, much of the dark forces reigning supreme over the purple islands were vanquished by adventuring heroes.  They came, they saw, they slaughtered.  A few years went by without incident.  Everyone started coming to the islands after things quieted down - colonists, anthropologists, big game hunters, sightseeing tourists, etc.  But then obscene purple blasphemies deep within the islands began to resurface."

So it looks like there's some solid adventure hooks and plot lines to throw at your OSR players & some really well thought out gonzo weirdness to exploit for your own in home campaigns. The fact is that this can't affect what I've got going on in my home campaigns.

I've been doing what I've been doing for a long time and earlier today I talked about back calling. This is a situation where none of my players or their PC's have even begun to scratch the surface of the islands, the Lovecraftian powers, or the time & space warping plot lines.
So do I think that you shouldn't be supporting the
Battle For The Purple Islands?

No, I think you should be! The fact is we want more OSR material from Venger Satanis. I think that the O5R material is fine but lets face facts, its easier to use material for the retroclone systems that we already own.

So go to the kickstarter open your wallets and support what looks like a great adventure resource coming up!

OSR Commentary - The Disney Marvel OSR Campaign Method

So over the past couple of months like everyone else I've been following Disney/Marvel's handling of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it effectively been called. So Thor Ragnarok second trailer hit the internet wilds yesterday. Now something interesting has been risen among the ashes of the various bits and pieces of the whole hot steaming advertising & marketing mess of a campaign that Disney has been plugging. Let's watch the latest trailer for a moment. I'll wait for you folks.

But for months we had hints that were were being set up for a whole range of MCU related call backs of the same type we've seen in old school games table top games adventures. A call back by the way is the sprinkling in of elements from one adventure into another so that you can link up both adventures some months or even years later.  Like the getting together of Thor & Dr.Strange in the post credits scene of Dr.Strange a couple of months ago.

Well there's more to this then just that folks, Thor Ragnorok effectively puts together a team that comic fans have been seeing for years. Yeah their almost all there and like a good DM Marvel has been teasing and dealing out just enough clues and call backs for years now. Its a really good marketing & advertising campaign. But what they've done is put together enough of the powerhouses not to make team Thor but to make the Defenders.

 This blog entry isn't an attempt to violate the trademarks or copyrights of  Disney or Marvel comics or the Marvel Cinematic universe in anyway. This blog entry is for educational and entertainment purposes. None of the role playing game systems mentioned in the article are responsible for the content and ideas of this blog which are the property of the writer whose warped opinion as a fan fuels this blog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

OSR Commentary - Beer,The State of the Campaign, The Gaming Scence In Ct, & The OSR

So Sunday was a really interesting day in many ways, it was another Ninety something degree day & it was one of those sort of lazy Sundays we seem to have here in Connecticut. Except it wasn't in one two ways. First I ran into a very good  friend of mine who I had not seem in some years. He works in a brick & mortar hobby shop about fifty or so miles away. We were about this and that in the table top hobby as friends are prone to do. Games Workshop came out with a new edition of 40K and so forth. 
 But what struck me is the sheer disconnect that there is between the retail side of the hobby and the internet side of the community. He had no idea what the OSR was or the paradigm shift towards older editions & retroclones. We compared notes on friends X & Y as well as a number of events that I didn't know about in the state. We exchanged phone numbers & I went home to pizza, movie with my folks, etc.

Later that night I got together with some friends to discuss gaming related stuff with the upcoming fall campaign. We're still tossing around science fantasy & sword & sorcery elements, its leaning more towards a Thundarr/ Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea game using the current incarnation of Tegel Manor to bridge the two game settings. More on that in another blog post in the near future.

What stuck me is the sheer discontent from the local scene of table top that I've got in my home town of Torrington Ct. Like so many other gamers in my home state you cultivate a certain group of friends & players that you as a dungeon master stick with. These are friends that you know love, and trust to play with for years. This is one of the ways that the table top rpg  hobby works. I've heard some folks compare D&D & AD&D 1st edition as 'Satan's game and all of the rest of the 'Satanic Panic' clap trap. Sure table top role playing games attract big & often very strong personalities but on the whole its made a huge difference by bringing life long friends to the table. 

One of the events that really galvanized me back in '08 was the death of Gary Gygax, sorry if I'm bringing up a painful memory folks. But this death really up ticked and up ended the table top rpg hobby as a whole. Suddenly it brought home the fact again that we've only got so much time on this Earth. So write, design, map, and most of all play! Get together with friends and get a game going today!
So life moves on and another Fall is coming up fast. Make the most of your gaming my friends and we'll see you around the table. I've got more OSR content coming up friends and fellow gamers! Play on!