Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Using The The Castle Keepers Guide & The Siege Engine For Clark Ashton Smith's 'Old Solar System' Campaign Setting

I've written extensively about my obsession with the  Castles & Crusades rpg over the years. I've been quietly on the side been using both the Victorious Rpg & Amazing Adventures ! rpg product lines over the last couple of days. I'm thinking of doing a joint game set in an alternative Earth prime material time line.
But if only there was a supplement book that had guidelines for combining & straddling the lines of these books?! Well there is! The Castle Keepers Guide (CKG) by Davis Chenault, &  Stephen Chenault does an excellent job of clarifying the C&C system while giving enough room for the dungeon master to customize their own campaigns. 
The mechanics of the Castles Keeper's Guide  are so easy to convert that it hardly matters what game you are playing it will work with this system. C&C is stripped down 3.5 AD&D done right. 

That brings me back to the under unifying ideas of my campaign worlds. Way back in January of 2017 I began wanting to run a Clark Ashton Smith Solar System. Well I ran quite a few mini campaigns of that setting but it mutated through a few different retroclone  systems. Lately I find myself wanting to return to that campaign once again. The difference here is that I've got more resources to really pull this off. One of which is a copy of Skirmisher Publishing's Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars: Shadows of a Dying World (An OGL Guide to Monsters, Races, and Beasts)I really want to get back to my own version of Mars & expand back into a pulpy & comic style Mars. 

Alternative cover of Shadows of A Dying World from Amazon. 

The inner solar system worlds are sort of settled but the worlds beyond the asteriod belt are utterly savage places of Lovecraftian horror. 
I was reminded of  Leigh Brackett's Thralls of the Endless Night & Marooned On Io both stories convey the utter alien weirdness of the "Outer Words" The "Captain Volmar"cycle of Clark Ashton Smith puts the ball right into the Earth colonists hands. 

 I'am going to be going back to the pulpy goodness of Amazing Adventures! & Victorious rpgs with the PC's having their hands full of the back alleys & high strangeness of the world of 2100. Where both the Drow menace & costumed villains have begun to show up. The fact is that panic of the machinations of the Drow have settled into the outer edges of the monad cities.

 There's been a power vacuum left out in the 'outer worlds' beyond Jupiter after the Mi Go empire  left the solar system. The monstrous  god beings of Saturn & Jupiter had long since stopped giving the Mi Go adoration, payment, etc. The real question is why had the alien horrors of the Mi Go fled in the first place. There is speculation that they had taken their entire planet of Yuggoth & its satellites of the damned with them far beyond the known places of our solar system; 
"I knew those fires were brewing monstrous things,
And that those birds of space had been Outside -
I guessed to what dark planet's crypts they plied,
And what they brought from Thog beneath their wings.
The others laughed - till struck too mute to speak
By what they glimpsed in one bird's evil beak."
HP Lovecraft 
Fungi from Yuggoth (1930s) 

Mi Go By Khannea SunTzu - 

So this leaves Earth in the throws of the after affects of a solar system at the mercy of alien entities & an uncaring universe. Earth cities are crime ridden places at the mercy of fellow travelers from beyond Earth's space time. Not to mention the increasing presence of foreign mercenaries & adventurers from other prime material planes that come to ransack & pillage the fringes of the world. Many times they find themselves drawn into ruins & dungeons that dot the countryside & wilderness the remains doorways & gates into other worlds. These places often spell the demise of these foolish outlaws & criminals from other places. 

This is a world in desperate need of heroes, adventurers, & fighters willing to take on some of the the evils that have come to plague this land. The Spirit of 61 is among the onslaught of daring heroes that have come to do battle with the horrors from beyond the ken of mankind. These heroes are often out matched & gunned to try to take on some of the alien horrors that they come to face. 

 Even among the heroes & mercenaries who have come from across the planes there are rumors of an ancient & evil dark presence that has been watching the Earth from the remote confines of hidden valleys upon the red planet. Adventurers with 'the sight' do not say what it might be but only shudder at its presence. The Aihais nor the Green Men will not say what they might be but there are rumors even now. 

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