Thursday, May 30, 2019

OSR Commentary Hacking AS&SH's Khromarium From TSR's LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE By Anthony Pryor (Author), & Fred Fields (Editor)

 Last night I dreamed that there was a box set of the city of Khromarium from Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. There were maps of the city & various hard core NPC encounters, variable maps of the city to explore & so forth. Then I woke up completely disappointed or did I?! Ages ago when Second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was doing setting after setting box sets & various product lines I collected one of the lesser known ones that's served me so very well over the years. 

"LANKHMAR… city of thieves, city of the night, city of adventure. Home of Fritz Leiber's famous heroes, FAFHRD and the GRAY MOUSER, the greatest adventurers in the world of Nehwon. The city of Lankhmar springs to life as an exciting setting for the AD&D 2nd Edition game.
Visit the fabled Rainbow Palace, stroll the surly streets of the old town, haggle at the marketplace, or risk the winding maze of the Tenderloin. From the wharves and shipyards to the dark sewers of this mighty metropolis, LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE takes you on a full tour."
As a dungeon master this book has been updated for second edition AD&D which means that its readily usable for OSR games. Second it has maps & descriptions that push it over the edge for use with gaming. Lots of high concept & easy usable bits & pieces such as the humanoid rats lots & lots of em. 

 Now I can hear the old timers howling for the moon to use the old Chaosium Thieves' World Box set city Sanctuary! No there are several reasons why using the LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE book is key for AS&SH. All of the stats are readily usable with the AS&SH first of all. Second the maps are very well done & third is the fact that these books are still relatively inexpensive. Wayne's got the book for around thirty dollars & ebay has the books for cheaper. But I like Wayne because he's upfront & answers questions very quickly.
While I know that Dungeon Crawl Classics has been doing Lankhmar products for quite sometime. But the Lankhmar City of Adventure book is one  that I've got on hand & ready to go. There are several reasons for this:
  1. The city cartography is excellent & easily adaptable for AS&SH or any OSR game. 
  2. Sword & Sorcery elements fit nicely into a wide variety places on AS&SH's Hyperborea 
  3. There are a wide variety of urban based elements that fit into a portrait of Khromarium that is both usable & dynamic. 
  Given all of these reasons & several others AS&SH's Khromarium can be easily brought to life using  LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE book as several of the factions fit & fix into place the structure of the Green Death descended  city. The PC's come face to face with the true inheritors of the city of capital city in the AS&SH  'The Rats in The Walls & Other Perils' adventure. 

Not only do these two adventure  puzzle pieces connect but they put the PC's right into the heart of a dangerous conspiracy & mystery involving the Skaven erm rat men in the sewers of the heart of the urban Sword & Sorcery cross roads. I'd use 
AS&SH's Khromarium as the base of operations for the PC's once the rat problem was cleaned up. Then begin porting in the other side of the world as  Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique. All of the elements are already present within both  LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE book & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea to run expand upon the CAS classic adventure setting.

  This gives the campaign setting a very interesting & unique twist or two while making the setting your own & since the TSR's LANKHMAR: CITY OF ADVENTURE isn't well know to the newest generation of players then no sacred cows have been slaughtered. 

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