Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review & Commentary On 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' By Jeffrey P. Talanian For The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

"Your party finds itself in the employ of Ragnarr the Sea-Wolf, a jarl of New Vinland and a reaver of old. His daughter, a shield-maiden named Gunnhildr, has been abducted by a brute called Bj√∂rn Blackbeard. During a desperate search, the Sea-Wolf crossed sails with a former rival, and from the blood-flecked lips of a dying foe, he learnt the location of Blackbeard’s stronghold. Now, deep in the misty fjords of Brigand’s Bay, where cutthroats, pirates, and freebooters thrive, you have been charged with liberating the Sea-Wolf’s daughter."

So I approached the author & designer of The Sea-Wolf's Daughter by Jeffrey P. Talanian who also happens to be the designer & writer of the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system for a pdf copy of the adventure.  After a bit of poking & prodding & a few crossed wires the adventure arrived in my email box.

'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' by Jeffrey P. Talanian  puts the PC's into the Viking & mercenary underbelly of Hyperborea. Take one part Pulp Viking adventure romp add in lots of other worldly weirdness & you've got the makings of a higher end AS&SH module designed for PC's  from four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. This is a lethal party wipe of an adventure if the players are not careful. This is an upper level AS&SH module with all that that entails.
The encounters are harder, the enenmies nastier, & the setting is pure Robert E. Howard with a Lovecraftian Jack Kirby mix of high adventure. But the first part is pure AS&SH Viking & barbarian goodness with the PC's in the 
employ of Ragnarr the Sea-Wolf, a jarl of New Vinland. But its the adventure material around the events of 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter'  that really sets this adventure off. What I mean is that which each & every module that comes out for AS&SH, the campaign as well as the game setting of Hyperborea is expanded upon a little more. In this adventure some of the NPC's that the party is gonna run across are just as dangerous if not more so then the monsters. Not that these are not deadly.
The layout, cartograhpy by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design is on point, but some of the artwork is down right cool with talent the likes of 
Daisey BinghamJohnathan BinghamAndreas ClarenMick FernetteDavid HoskinsDiogo NoguieraGlynn SealVal SemeiksDel Teigeler, &  Mike Tenebrae.

AS&SH art by Diogo Nogueira

Its in the second half of the adventure where events turn into a 
Lovecraftian Jack Kirby adventure experience. The PC's come into conflict with some truly dire & utterly dangerous alien powers endemic to Hyperborea.  'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' takes on a life of its own as an adventure drawing the party into high level NPC situations that the players are not going to be expecting. Not only does this adventure draw the party of adventurers in with material, puzzles, & Hyperborean weirdness but like many other AS&SH modules  there's lots of adventure tidbits the DM can fold back in for other campaign adventures. Within  'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' there are  the hordes of NPC's, locations, personalities, monsters,etc. can be used in other Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventures when the events of the module conclude. So there's a ton of utility within the module I feel.

If you were to place 
'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' in an OSR AS&SH that was using classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons modules which series of classic modules might you as a dungeon master pair it with? Personally I'd use 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' with the classic A1-4 The Scourage of the Slave Lords.

 One of the main NPC's within the module would make a formiable addition to the ranks of the Slavers allowing 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter'  to be used as a side adventure. This would take years of play to come to pass but with a bit of Viking spit & Pulp barbarian  polish A1-4 The Scourage of the Slave Lords could take on an even harder Sword & Sorcery edge to complement  'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter'
Jeffrey P. Talanian brings his usual level of quality writing & clever design that we've seen in other adventures & modules within the AS&SH line. All in all I felt very excited to have my copy of the  'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter'  & I feel that it is not only a worth addition to the AS&SH fine family of products but one that I think you'll be glad to own. I think its worth a five out of five in my opinion because it maintains the level of quality & solid design that we've come to expect outta of North Wind Adventures.

You Can Purchase 
'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' Right

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