Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Free B4 The Lost City Sourcebook & Blood On The Desert Sands OSR Commentary

So last night was full on Fourth of July with neighbors with fireworks & what not. I got called over to a friend's house whose a vet (thank you for your service Bill) for moral support. We drank a beer or two & as usual the topic turned to Dungeons & Dragons related stuff. It usually does with my crowd up here in the Northwestern corner of Connecticut & it seems to keep the personal demons away folks. Oddly the topic turned to B4 The Lost City by Tom Moldvay.

We ended up discussing Bill's Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition campaign. Bill's brother Steve was a part of the Kickstarter & got the book  for him for Christmas. He'd read through the book & wanted to do a complete Summer jump  campaign.Bill had read an old pulp take blog entry  I did on B4.

But Bill had a leg up on me in the form of a free source book that Dragon's had put together organized by Demos Sachlas. Well, I felt a bit foolish because I've allowed all of the usual OSR hoopla & trouble makers to take my attention away from one of my favorite classic modules.
The free sourcebook clocks in at forty eight pages & has everything a DM needs to flesh out parts of his domain.
""The Lost City: Campaign Sourcebook" is a collection of original work and material gathered from the pages of Dragonsfoot and elsewhere on the internet, celebrating Tom Moldvay's classic adventure. Compiled and edited by Demos Sachlas. 48 pages. March, 2018"
The Lost City has everything a pulp driven DM could want & the source book fills in some of the gaps of the module while leaving just enough to get the action started. There are extensive resources to pull from & in addition its free.

The sourcebook pulls from the back history of B4 The Lost City including background material, internet commentary, history, etc. but it also has information on additional factions plus extensive ties to Mystara. There's just enough here to make it very interesting for the experienced dungeon master. The location in Hyperborea might be around the edges of the Diamond Desert in AS&SH. But the precise details are left to the imagination of the dungeon master because of players of Bill's reading this blog. That being said there is a ton of source material for the DM to pull into their own home games. There are several reasons why this source book works: 
  1. The material is better organized & pulls from the module itself as well as other writer's perspectives having run 'The Lost City'. 
  2. Dungeon ecology is filled in for B4 with creator commentary, & interviews. 
  3. The source book is a love letter to the module but there's no overarching 'you must do this' stance here. 
  4. Love the additional rooms & material. Good stuff for the dungeon master. 
  5. More factions means more troubles for the player's PC's 
  6. There is pulp adventure to spare here & it works well.
In addition B4 The Lost City could easily be transported over to Arduin for an additional dungeon of legend. The dungeon master would have to Hargrave material with additional monsters, especially paying attention to the undead here. Factions would take on a stranger tone & there would be tie ins to other cults of Arduin perhaps even some of the more deadly demonic ones.

Because of the extensive real world historical perspective put into the source book some of the real world history can be used to position B4 The Lost City into a desert setting for an OSR  game set in Europe. The cults & factions of the city are perfect fodder to be turned into a Chaos cult or three for Dark Albion.
 War between the factions of B4 The Lost City would make excellent fodder for an Africa/Egyptian style game vs the forces of Albion after the end of the Rose War.

 Much of this idea might necessate grabbing a copy of Adventurer,Conqueror, King or using the Lion & Dragon rpg to help fill out rank & file with some of the forces described in the source book.
In addition some of the pseudo Greco Hellenistic elements of the module & its source book have merit to be translated over into a square jawed pulp game especially with Troll Lords Amazing Adventures! rpg . That's an entire blog entry unto itself.

So let's talk about the fact that much of the source book hits the buttons for nostalgia but also rounds out a few more adventure locations within the massive underground  pyramid city complex itself. Much of the backdrop of the pulpy interior workings of the city background  are still intact.This means that as a whole the DM can use & set the material where & when he needs it for old school campaigns.


The Lost City: Campaign Source book HERE

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