Friday, January 19, 2018

Alien gods, Monsters, & Clark Aston Smith's "Captain Volmar" Sequence With Old School & OSR Resources

So its two A.M. in the morning on a Friday & I've had all kinds of fun this past week. So I've been quietly retreating back into some of the writings of Clark Aston Smith's  "Marooned in Andromeda", the first entry in his "Captain Volmar" sequence, was the cover story in the October 1930 issue of Wonder Stories. illustrated by Frank R. Paul
For me the "Captain Volmar" sequence by CAS is pure human exploration out beyond Pluto & Yuggoth. Humanity has been reaching deeper & deeper into the 'Old Solar System'. The Hyperborean wars are over, Old Earth is barely starting to escape the devastation of Hyperborea leaving Earth. The clock is ticking & the Old Ones almost but not quite awake.

So I'm thinking about how the Star ship Warden of S3 Expedition to The Barrier Peaks relates to other possible space craft & yes at length I've talked about S3's relationship to Killraven & The Planet of Apes Marvel comics. 
But tonight I want to put a CAS focus on this & some of the other star ships & adventure opportunities with Goblinoid Games Starships & Spacemen second edition.  "Captain Volmar" sequence fits very nicely into the style of S&S second edition very nicely. The command chain, ideas,etc. all fit into the middle ground of Realms of Crawling Chaos. Why I'm going on a Goblinoid Games bend tonight?! Because I ordered myself a copy of Apes Victorious from Lulu Publishing using the LuLu20 code for 20% off all of the various print books. I still need a new copy of Realms of Crawling Chaos & Mutant Future second edition but those will wait.

So while Apes Victorious game presents a Planet of the Apes centric world. The 1977 version  Marvel Comics version of Logan's Run featured key scenes that were left out of the film but were in the comic book. So what does this have to do with the
"Captain Volmar" sequence??! Logan's domed cities might well be isolated enclaves of young sacrifices created to be conveniently waiting sacrifices & snacks for the Old Ones. The malfunction of the starship Warden might be a result of a beacon from the city of domes just outside of old Washington D.C.. Logan's city might be simply another human state unknown among the rubble of 'Old Earth'.

Both worlds might easily be the same campaign one & they might be related to the ape races of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. There are several ape related races in AS&SH second edition including an ape demon thing from Underborea that wants to return the ape race to its rightful place of total dominance over humanity. The apes might be simply unwitting tools for these demon creatures but given the WWII level technology things could get very dangerous for the PC's.
There's another older OSR release that seldom gets mentioned that expands upon S&S's rules and variants. That's
"The Lucanii Drift" by Paul Kidd this book greatly expands the PC alien races, star ship combat, and adds all kinds of options for the table.  

 Some of the ideas put forth in the various AS&SH adventures especially Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes with its lost ship, mutant creatures, strange radioactive fuels,etc. it all fits into the S3 adventure operating parameters. This same formula ideal is also found within "Captain Volmar" sequence  of adventures; the crew is stranded or captured on an alien planet, they encounter nightmarish flora and fauna, and then they escape. The PC's will be very lucky to pull this sort of an escape off!

Maybe it seems as if I'm drifting away from the Dungeons & Dragons aspect of AS&SH second edition but think again. Time after time we've seen various OSR adventures that employ isolated modern  or post apocalyptic adventure settings. So could there be other star ships just waiting to make Earth fall after the Warden makes land fall in possibly some isolated region of Europe? I think so and there's also another pay what you want resource from a well known OSR company that could fit the bill. Neoplastic press's Star Ship From Hell is a great seldom mentioned OSR resource that has all of the bells & whistles to fit the bill.

There are several weird life forms that seem to fit many of  the classic old school monster builds that we've seen in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons within CAS's
"Captain Volmar" sequence & it would be very easy to add in a twisted creature or two from the first edition Monster Manual to pad out some of the planetary encounters out beyond Pluto.

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