Wednesday, November 21, 2018

OSR Commentary - Adapting Judge's Guilld's The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure by Scott Fulton For Old School Campaigns

"The Prophet said that the great Druid F'dech Fo would rise again to wreak vengeance and destruction on the people! You must find him; you must destroy him; you must end the curse!
This product contains multiple adventures, new creatures, a castle, and a completely described barbarian village!"

So over the last seventy two hours I've pulled out an old Judge's Guild adventure & began the mental exercise of converting this over to one of my games. There are few things troubling me such as the werejaguar or are they? Looking at The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure by Scott Fulton from a completely different angle we get the full picture. The monster ecology is the key here. How can one have a were jaguar in an adventure featuring a druid & barbarian clans as well as villages centered around a castle? The were jaguar provides very everything we need. Europe has a very well established history of urban legends of phantom big cats & as of 1.5 million years ago we had the European Jaguar. Put those two together & we're well on our way to being able to explain were jaguars in England. But with a range in England, Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands. We've got a range of areas to play with;
"Later specimens have been found in England, Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands. Sometimes it is recognized as a subspecies of Panthera onca, the jaguar, as Panthera onca gombaszoegensis"

The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure by Scott Fulton makes the classic mistake of over explaining every NPC. That shouldn't be a problem at all if we cut out the extraneous bits & just go with the meat of the NPC's. Since this only a fifteen page adventure its not that big of a deal.  The real issue is going to be the fact that the undead form of F'dech Fo is going to slaughter lower level parties.  

Even though this artwork doesn't appear in the adventure its straight on point.

Ontleding des menschelyken lichaams... Amsterdam, 1690. Copperplate engraving with etching. National Library of Medicine. Portrait of Govard Bidloo (1649-1713) by the artist GĂ©rard de Lairesse (1640-1711).

But given the tomb & the various Barbarian tribes I can see this adventure working in a wide variety of OSR venues. I can see The F'dech Fo's Tomb working in France especially given into an early age during  Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne stories campaign.
Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne stories take place in a 'region in France, heavily forested — located somewhere between Tours and Moulins; a "main highway" between those two cities goes through it (The End of the Story, Clark Ashton Smith). This lines up somewhat with  the maps of The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure.
This option gives the dungeon master license to adapt X2 Castle Amber right into the mix! The time travel/cross plane jumping could give the dungeon master the perfect opportunity to line up all of X2 NPC & monster madness right into a mini campaign.

Tom Moldvey's classic has all of the old school adventure elements to give
The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure the campaign cohesion that it needs. What I mean is while The F'dech Fo's Tomb is a solid stand alone piece it seems to work better as part of solid whole. Yes it was designed to work as a part of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy but its very easily open  for DM customization. The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure is wide open & with a little effort the whole affair could be used in a super hero game such as Troll Lord's Amazing Adventures! rpg. Don't believe me? St. Bernard de Clairvaux was dismantled and shipped from Spain by William Randolph Hearst to the United States. St. Bernard de Clairvaux isn't the only one there were many castles that were moved to the states.  What if the castle, grounds, out buildings, etc. were shipped from France to the United States then the PC's were transported back the post Second Ice Age France  to face the evil of F'dech Fo? But once again I would temper this by using the rules from the AA companion to give the PC's just a bit of an edge.

The F'dech Fo's Tomb adventure is a perfect middle ground adventure for the dungeon master who wants to do a faux Celtic or French Celtic adventure for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Every adventure element fits very nicely into the world of Hyperborea without too much modification.

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