Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rumbles of the OSR - X1 The Isle of Dread By David Cook & Tom Moldvay, & More OSR Campaign Madness

Most of my American friends have spent their day with their American families for Thanksgiving. And we've had a fantastic Thanksgiving but something has been at the back of my mind. I'm talking about the appearance of X1 Isle of Dread off the coast of California in my campaign. Let's get that pesky history of the X1 module outta of the way first;"X1: "The Isle of Dread" (1981), by David "Zeb" Cook and Tom Moldvay, was the first "expert" level adventure for Basic D&D. It was released in January 1981 - both as a standalone module and packaged with the Dungeons & Dragons Expert Rules (1981)."

So I've just spent an entire day eating metric ton of turkey & being thankful to God that I've made another year around this blessed ball of Earth with my family. But besides that I've spent the better part of two weeks rereading some of my favorite Edgar Rice Burroughs books the Pellucidar series: 

  • At the Earth's Core (1914)
  • Pellucidar (1915)
  • Tanar of Pellucidar (1929)
  • Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929)
  • Back to the Stone Age (1937)
  • Land of Terror (1944)
  • Savage Pellucidar (1963)

    I've been running my Cha'alt/Godbound campaign for a little while now but something has occurred to me. This campaign takes place during early stages  the time of Ragnarok when the Lovecraftian forces of darkness are trying to retake the surface world. 

    Dust-jacket illutration by J. Allen St. John for At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs

    This has been one of my campaign themes that's been running through several of my 90 day campaigns for years now. Is this the same Earth where the forces of  the Hyperborean Empire  retake the surface world and then go on to much later establish Hyperborea floating in the void around Saturn ala the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg ? 
    Well its very possible given the fact that AS&SH is a solid choice of a system to add to this OSR mix plus looking over Northwind Adventure's Black Friday sale on their adventures makes this a tempting choice.

    Now this isn't the first time I've used AS&SH to run within a Hollow Earth campaign & these were my plans to begin with. AS&SH was one of the systems that I've used in the past to run a couple of Sword & Sorcery adventure one shots with several of the empires within ERB style Hollow Earths. Not only that but L1 Dwellers of The Forbidden City by David Cook  worked very well with a Hollow Earth campaign.

    I'm thinking of reusing L1 for another of the islands that materialized just west of the isle of Dread. But what are these adventure locations significance within the context of the Hollow Earth or the uptick in strange & uncanny cults that sprung up around the California countryside?!
    What of the strange rumors of incredibly tall warriors stalking the countryside, reports from sea side tourist towns of strange murders by fish men, droves of tourists who have joined the legion of the 
    kopru, & tales of strange men & women raising armies of the dead! 

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