Thursday, July 25, 2019

Let The Monster Suit The Purpose - The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Kicstarter & Dr

From the side lines I've been watching the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea kickstarter for  Hyperborea Other Worldly Tales for  The Lost Treasure of Atlantis™ and The Sea-Wolf's Daughter™. If you haven't checked it out then my all means take a look & show your support if your so inclined. 
And no I'm not looking for a free module or any such crap as that. What the kickstarter has got me thinking about is how to morph in some of the unconventional monsters of the Monster Manual II into my interpretation of the Hyperborea setting. So I'm essentially thinking of doing a one off adventure with one of the Monster Manual II monsters. 

Of the two modules featured in the kickstarters are mini campaigns unto themselves. What I'm looking for is a powerful monster for a one shot with the potential to grow into something really interesting & challenging. I think I've found my candidate in the form of the thessalhydra. These horrors make perfect avatars of the big bad  from AS&SH's world background. 

Here's the publication history on this horror from the Monster Manual II; "
The thessalhydra first appeared in first edition in the original Monster Manual II (1983).[1] The thessalmera appeared in Dragon #94 (February 1985).[2]

The thessalmonster (including the thessalgorgon, the thessalhydra, the thessalmera, and the thessaltrice) appeared in second edition for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989),[3] and reprinted in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (1996).[4]
The thessalhydra appeared in third edition in Dungeon #134 (May 2006)." So given its background there's some really nice room to add it into a game as a Sword & Sorcery mid level boss monster.Why?!
"This family of hybrid monsters was created by Thessalar, a powerful lich of the World of Greyhawk campaign setting dwelling in the Wormcrawl Fissure.
The first thessalmonster was so genetically unstable that it could breed with other monsters to create new variants. When the original was killed, no new breeds of thessalmonsters could be made." This monster is completely wrong for AS&SH I can already here the naysayer's out there shaking their heads. Well,there's already a Pathfinder version of the the thessalhydra here. So its already in the OGL. But there's a Clark Ashton Smith connection with the CAS story the Coming of the White Wyrm part of the Hyperborea cycle. The idea here is very simple, one cycle of the world of Earth is ending & the new world is about to begin. The old world is being swept away by the Great Old Ones in the form of the White Worm.
In AS&SH the 
thessalmonsters are the middle management of the old world cycle, left overs that time has passed by & their rather a bit pissed about this turn of events. So any humans that they run across are gonna suffer.

These are not your garden variety monsters instead these are the creations of the Old Ones and appropriately are only found guarding the remotest outposts of the Hyperboreans and their ilk. I'm going to be sticking with the 'Ecology of the Chimera' By Ed Greenwood from Dragon issue #94. 

In point of fact I'm going to be constructing the dungeon & adventure around the monster not vice versa. The monster is very much connected with my campaign history of the Hyperborean setting. That's part of the beauty of using an OSR campaign setting or any Dungeons & Dragons setting to customize it to suit your personal table top level campaign world. Then inviting others to come in & play in it. More as this develops. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.