Friday, September 22, 2017

'The Pnakotician Echoes' - More Swords & Strangeness - Actual Play Adventure Event Commentary

The PC's are about to enter the lands of Lomar & they've had their first glimpse of a Gnophkeh  skull in the alchemist's shop last week. This brings up the question will they abandon the lands &grounds of the dimensional traveling Tegel Manor or stay awhile within Lomar. My version of Lomar is a mixture of Alaska, Canada, bits of Iceland, the poles, & pieces from H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands.  This is about as dangerous as it gets and the players know it


Olathoë, lying on the plateau of Sarkis has a deep connection with my version of the classic haunted manor. The manor rooms have artifacts, relics, and reminders of the lands of Lomar even as the strange ghosts, ghouls, and horrors made from the Rump family haunt the halls. The weird city of time haunted marble is the abode of a strain of Hyperborean of distinct linage who have faced down Esquimaux raiders time and again. The lands of Lomar are distinctly alien and yet here walk normal human traders, Hyperboreans from across the Old Earth, and all kinds of warriors on business of all kinds. Some come to hunt the long armed cannibal races that exist in the hills, low lands, and upper mountain peaks. Still others come for work with the Pnakotic brotherhood and its other cults.

A good portion of the savagery & super science of my version of the lands of Lomar is inspired by George Pal's 1961 film Atlantis The Lost Continent which has been largely forgotten by today's audiences. The film supposedly isn't very good but strangely enough has a pretty hard core cult audience among certain fans. Strangely enough this film hits many of the high notes of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea's high notes. Strange relic technologies, decedent society hell bent on extinction, sorcery and weird corrupt religions. Many of the high notes are hit in this film yet it remains mostly ignored by modern audiences. This suits me fine as a dungeon master.

The citizens of the lands of Lomar are mostly going to be a blend of humans & Hyperboreans with the ruins of immemorial Commoriom buried in a nearby glacier where the cult of the White Worm meets for their secret cabal scarifies & twisted pagan rites! The cult of Nodens, Tsathoggua,the spider-god Atlach-Nacha, the Great Old One Rhan-Tegoth and Ithaqua  are growing by leaps and bounds as the corruption  spreads across the lands. 

All of this ties directly into the over arching themes of AS&SH second edition, my home campaign takes full advantage of the fact that Hyperborea disappeared from 'Old Earth' one night leaving a gaping hole in the ocean where Greenland & Iceland used to be. Hyperborea is now floating out near the planet Cykranosh (the planet Saturn). The solar system is serviced by atomic rockets and mankind has lost his faster then light travel capabilities.

Ten reasons why this campaign has worked so far with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea and why I'm shifting over to the AS&SH second edition.
  1. The expanded rules & PC classes make perfect sense in this altered world and the Green Death of AS&SH fits right in with some of the ideas put forth in Leigh Brackett's world settings and time line.
  2. Expanded spell lists mean that I've got more magickal choices to screw around with the PC's. 
  3. Actual Lovecraftian and Smithian deities to add to the setting instead of the usual replacement Lovecrftian horrors. 
  4. Solid player character classes mean better rounded NPC's. 
  5. A solid science fantasy play ground instead of a broken setting to add in the players too. 
  6. A beginning adventure that actually fits the rule book's implied and expanded upon setting. 
  7. More monsters! 
  8. Solid writing behind some of the NPC's and monsters 
  9. Second edition is clearly written, perfectly suited for long term campaign style play
  10. I can run a solid Clark Ashton Smith style setting with weird Sword & Sorcery rules that make sense.

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