Sunday, July 14, 2019

Dungeons & Sheens - A Stars Without Number Revised Campaign Idea Using Dragon Magazine issue #258

"Once the Glaive was a powerful weapon. In the right hands, it can be so again." "Don't worry, I'll come back with it." "If you don't come back with it, Colwyn, you'll not come back at all!" -- Ynyr to Colywn, Krull, Marvel Comic Adaptation

So the year is Nineteen Ninety Nine,  Dragon magazine is a force to be reckoned with, Alternity is the new sci fi game from TSR  & White Wolf rules the wilds of the hobby shop shelves. At the ready on the table from that is Dragon issue #248 with a great cover by Todd Lockwood but its the article by Bruce R.Cordell called Mage vs Machine that has my interest tonight.

The entire campaign is tailor made to be run with Stars Without Number Revised.  Your typical D&D style fantasy world is completely overrun with cybernetic A.I organisms called Sheens. The wizards, and certain magic wielding types adapt to the onslaught & begin to salvage & re purpose some of the Sheens technologies. This is a well thought out campaign setting by Cordell & he's got a plethora of new classes, lots & lots of magic items, robotic occult goodies, & more.
But how would I adapt 'Man vs Machine' for Stars Without Numbers revised? I'd subvert the ideas of the setting completely by going back to the Eighties. Take Stars Without Numbers rules entirely & gut what you need from the setting.

I would go back to the Eighties & take the Dragon magazine article 'Man vs Machine' then dig out my blu ray of the cult classic film Krull from 1983. Set the events depicted in the article as happening in the same timeline as Krull down the line in the future. 

Now we've got every excuse to land a space craft on your fantasy planet tracking the latest wave of 'Sheen' technology & they recruit some local hot shot talent adventurers. The adventurers find out that their a part of a much broader interstellar sector!

The royal line established by   Colwyn &  Princess Lyssa are in grave danger from the Sheen as they have comeback to claim their long forgotten home world. The horrors of  the Beast's kind are the real threat lurking beyond the claim & placid reality of the home world of Krull. Our heroes are recruited into a much more dangerous universe & sector of space then they understand. There are several reasons why this work & work very well: 
  1. My friend Michael Tresca did a D2o Krull book that can be down loaded for free & its easily converted over to Stars Without Number. 
  2. The sheen have a huge number of variations of troop types these are easily used with SWN's space magic rules. 
  3. There were more threats indicated in the cult film of Krull & these can be fleshed out using Stars Without Number. 
  4. Many  new players are not even familiar with Krull or its deadliness. 
  5. Who knows what ruins & space dungeons might be lurking in the space around Krull. Its the perfect opportunity to create something quite unexpected in orbit! 
  6. What happened to the Glaive after the events of the film? Is a new champion of Krull needed?! 
  7. Are the descendants of  King Colwyn &  Queen Lyssa in deep trouble from the sheen or something quite worse? 
  8. Time to break out the copies of B2 Keep on the Borderlands. This is the perfect opportunity to use an old classic module & give the players an unexpected jolt of D&D action on Krull. 
  9. Is Krull the backward that it really appears to be or could there much more that was implied in the script lurking below the surface. 
  10. Could the elemental courts of AD&D have designs on Krull & the royal family that not even the PC's can guess? 

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