Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review & Commentary On “Ynys Bach”: A Celtic-flavoured one-page island adventure for OSR & Old School Campaigns

"Amid the rolling swells of a great ocean – possibly the Sea of Os'r – stands a craggy isle. PCs might find Ynys Bach by chance while “wavecrawling” or they might be led here by a treasure map. The surf pounds against a rocky shoreline, but two beaches of pale sand make viable landing sites for seafarers. "
“Ynys Bach” is a Celtic mythological themed one page adventure  for mid level play for old school games. This is a very nasty little piece of business packed into a one page package from 2013 let me tell ya. “Ynys Bach”  works on three levels. One it works as an adventure location especially for Celtic Otherworld island adventure location encounters. Alan Brodie does an excellent job of ramping up the action with his Formorians being absolutely nasty.
I can absolutely see using 
“Ynys Bach”  as a mid tier to upper level adventure mini module in Celtic themed Original Dungeons & Dragons or in a Swords & Wizardry campaign. But this is not a module to take lightly.

 A  Fomorian from the Advanced
Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual II

Where could 
“Ynys Bach”  dropped into in  OSR or old school gaming systems?! “Ynys Bach” could be dropped whole cloth into an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign whole cloth. The island can easily be dropped into the edge of the world of Hyperborea & it wouldn't be out of the Sword & Sorcery weird tales theme of the game. 
“Ynys Bach”  would also fit as a last out post of the Formorian royals or as single former fortress to a degenerate kingdom lurking under the waves. 

The Fomorians, as depicted by John Duncan (1912)
 Claw Carver does an excellent job of setting up “Ynys Bach”  as a greater part of an island hopping campaign something that we see quite a bit of in Celtic mythology. I've used this gambit several times in campaigns to bring home the dangerous & nasty business of 'wave crawling'. Overall I think that  “Ynys Bach” succeeds on a number of levels & especially as a solid mid level one off OSR adventure location. 
I could easily see this one page adventure being used for Castles & Crusades's 
The Codex Celtarum with some very minor adjustments. The PC's are exploring & exploiting the former realms of the gods. Their holdings are now in the hands of the ancient twisted giants of legend. 

 On the flip side of the coin “Ynys Bach”  could be used as the basis for a complete rework of a Celtic mythological Adventurer, Conqeuror,King rpg adventure in which the PC's are challenging & taking over the ancient holdings of the gods. This island is one more chess piece on the board. 
Given this I can also see using  “Ynys Bach” as a part of an old school high level D&D Expert campaign with a Celtic mythological bent. This adventure location could be dropped whole cloth into a full on Expert D&D  Sword & Sorcery campaign as well. For Mentzer Dungeons & Dragons we're talking easily The 
D&D Companion Rules Set (1984). 

Ynys Bach"  Is Available Right Here. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Review & Commentary On The Free 1-3 Menzter Dungeons & Dragons Adventure 'Fugitive (AJ1)' by Alex Johnson

'Fugitive (AJ1)' by Alex Johnson is the sort of a module that sneaks up on one when your not expecting it. Made specifically for Mentzer Basic Dungeons & Dragons this is the module that your players are not gonna be expecting.

"The most vile of criminals was recently apprehended. The only thing worse than knowing the crimes he committed is knowing that he has just escaped. A short wilderness adventure for Basic level characters intended to be completed in one session (8 hours or less)."

Basically your after a vile necromancer, & there are some really nice twists & turns here. The adventure is short & nasty living up to its name. 'Fugitive (AJ1)' has just enough for a beginning adventure to wet the appetites of the players. PC's are gonna have to be careful in this one. 'Fugitive (AJ1)' is designed for the lower strata of old school play but that doesn't mean that its cheap or exploitative in its execution.  This is a bare bones Mentzer D&D adventure with all of the Sword & Sorcery weirdness that it entertains.

'Fugitive (AJ1)' Right Over Here 

'Fugitive (AJ1)' takes the PC's & throws them in the middle of action. It allows the DM to bring the heat of their own campaign to the table while using 'Fugitive (AJ1)' as the appetizer. This means that the DM is more in control of the encounters & entertainments of 'Fugitive (AJ1)'.

'Fugitive (AJ1)
For Your Old School Or OSR Games

 'Fugitive (AJ1)' shines because its readily adaptable to any number of old school or Swords & Sorcery campaigns. The one module that immediately comes to mind is Gary Gygax's T1 The Village of Hommlet. Here's where the village can stand into the events depicted in  'Fugitive (AJ1)' & still stand out because this could readily become a village adventure event in the great scheme of Hommlet.

The struggle between gods and demons when the Temple of Elemental Evil dove tails nicely into the world of Zarrin is a priest who has sought power over life and death. He could well be a very minor player in greater schemes of the Temple of Elemental Evil but circumstances have brought him very low indeed. 'Fugitive (AJ1)' by Alex Johnson is a really nice change up from the usual lower level adventures I've seen with a very engaging hook, a few nice encounters, & a very adaptable plot for your old school campaigns. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Review & Commentary On The Free B/X Dungeons & Dragons Adventure XC Catacombs of Death By RC Pinnell For Your OSR & Old School Campaigns

'Catacombs of Death'  is a sort of rare beast of a high level  adventure from Dragon's foot by author RC Pinnell because of the upper level of the PC's needed and the deadliness of the adventure.
The plot is something straight out of the pages of an old Dragon or Dungeon magazine in a good way, its got all of that hard core wilderness/ and dungeon action surrounding a nice plot of sword and sorcery action. But this one is an upper level crawl and lives up to its premise in spades; "An old friend requires your help to rid themselves of a curse, but can you survive the Catacombs of Death. An Expert-Companion adventure for character levels 12-15."

Grab it Free Right Over
The author lays out the ground work for 'Catacombs of Death' straight out of the gate.

This adventure is designed for characters at the upper range of the "Expert" levels of play--12 to 14. Players running demi-human types should have attained at least Attack Rank C, as provided in the Companion Manual of instructions, that their characters may be able to experience the adventure on a more or less equal footing with the human types.
This is not an open sand box style of adventure instead this is a carefully plotted adventure that follows PC's into the mid range of character development and the pit falls that go along with later life of such characters.
The encounters are a challenge for these characters and the adventure centers around several locations of very dangerous aspect and a rather nasty dungeon.
Action, NPC's, and plot are interwoven throughout the Catacombs of Death, the author making no secret of the lethality and challenge of its plot and story line. This isn't an adventure location but a set of interwoven plots in the style of the older adventures for Basic D&D and retroclone systems.
Think of this module in terms of the Expert module such as the Slave Lord series because there is a very similar vibe running throughout the adventure, a set of circumstances that will haunt the characters for years to come surrounding events already set into motion.
This is an adventure about old vendettas, ancient history, and hair trigger circumstance all putting the PC's at the center of its Egyptian style setting adventure & campaign style  material.
There is a ton of new monsters, set pieces and more right between the pages of this one. It really is a well done but upper level adventure & used well can propel characters into a whole other realm of character back story and development. But those playing this one are going to be changed forever by what happens out in the sands in the Catacombs of Death. Take a look and download this one.
Using Catacombs Of Death
 For Your Old School Campaigns
Using 'Catacombs of Death' for your Old School Retroclones is going to require a bit more of a challenge because of the very nature of the module, this isn't a sandbox or kitchen sink adventure but one that requires some preparation and careful thought by the DM.
Because of the very nature of its story and plot a careful working by the DM is needed. A nice idea is to work the events from the back drop into the PC's career early into a campaign and then use Catacombs as a send off or mid range adventure for upper level characters.
That being said there are other ways of dealing with the circumstances surrounding the adventure.

Another idea is to have another high level  rival party hook up with the adventurers and one of their number set the plot and events of 'Catacombs of Death' into motion. This adventure is interesting, complex, and full of adventure and surprises. There are a myriad of uses for it but for a game such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea some real solid adjustments of level and a handful of solid conversion work needs to be done by the DM. The material will fit a such a game but it would require some work on the DM's part.

This is a module well worth the time, energy, and circumstance to take a look at and its very well done. For a free module is blurs the line once again between fan and pro. I personally think that 'Catacombs of Death' is worth your time to down load & a solid addition to any DM's adventure backlog of modules. 

OSR Review & Commentary On Dragonborn By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler From James Mishler Games For Your OSR or Old School Campaigns

Some days  I walk a fine line between full OSR Sword & Sorcery & the gonzo fantasy of early Dungeons & Dragons products. But with the epidemic on James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler have put all of their Drivethrurpg titles on 'pay what you want' OSR & Labyrinth Lord  titles.   "Note that the "Pay What You Want" lasts through the end of the day, or tomorrow morning at the latest "
'The Dragonborn' are a campaign & adventure  element that I've used for NPC's for years when dealing with dragons in old school & OSR games as minions, monster retainers, & more.
'The Dragonborn'  includes a whole array of options for the DM's tool box in form of ; "dragon-bloods, the half-blood offspring for dragonborn and humans includes the following:
"Magic Item: Dragon Scrimshaw Scales
Dragonborn Lairs, Dragonborn Monster Entry
New Monsters: Dracosteeds and Dragonhounds
10 pages altogether, seven pages of content, one cover page, two pages of OGL." So this means that 'The Dragonborn' clocks in ten pages but there's a lot of OSR  content for the bang for the buck factor. 'The Dragonborn ' material is ideally suited to be slotted into a Dungeon & Dragon  Expert Set edited by Dave Cook and Stephen R. Marsh.

James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler are often the writers & designers who take the untapped OGL material into something that is very usable at the table top rpg level especially for B/X style OSR games. We see this again in the 'Barbarian Class'

Saturday, March 28, 2020

OSR Review & Commentary On Courtney Campbell's Megadungeon issue #1 From Hack & Slash Publishing For Your OSR or Old School Campaigns

Just got off the phone with my wife to thank her for her gift. The second gift arrived this morning & that's Courtney Campbell's Megadungeon issue #1. This is another old school or OSR  fanzine but this fanzine is day & night compared to James V. West's Black Pudding. Megadungeon isn't your average OSR fanzine.

Everything in Megadungeon issue #1  is keyed to the creation, philosophy, & work of the megadungeon as a key adventure & campaign location setting. Everything here is dual -statted for B/X and 5e.  There is a lot of thought here about every aspect of the mega dungeon but that's what one comes to expect from the author of the Hack & Slash blog.
What's actually useful is whole package which is geared for creating your own megadungeon for your games. What makes the whole cloth package for B/X Dungeons & Dragons style games.

If you want a sample of the type of quality that one expects from Courtney C. Campbell then grab the 'pay what you want' title  Tricks, Empty Rooms, and Basic Trap Design document here.  
 Courtney Campbell's Megadungeon issue #1 takes this quality & turns the dial up to eleven for megadungeon design.

This is done through dungeon adventures, NPC's, & adventure locations but with a wide breath & length of the author's wit & insight into the subject of the megadungeon philosophy at the table top level. This is never boring & plugs into the Basic & Expert style of Dungeons & Dragons. This makes Megadungeon issue #1 both accessible & never boring to me. The ideas & philosophy in Megadungeon issue #1 are tuned in & turned on to an OSR campaign especially along the lines of Labyrinth Lord or the 1981 D&D Basic Set edited by Tom Moldvay, and its accompanying Expert Set by David "Zeb" Cook. But what makes it different is Courtney Campbell's exacution & wrap around OSR presentation.
There's are five areas where 
 Megadungeon issue #1 shines! These are very easy to pin down for the dungeon master because they are so steadily guided but not mocked in this fanzine. The author knows his audience & takes that into account: 
  1.  Megadungeon issue #1 features solidly made  pair of introductory areas to what could be an excellent megadungeon and  cartography. 
  2. Easy to drag & drop in NPC's 
  3. Excellent dungeon & mega dungeon adventure design philosophy. 
  4. The point between excellence & not preachy OSR writing. 
  5. A solid on point fanzine & nothing more.
All of this adds up to making Courtney Campbell's Megadungeon issue #1.  a solid five outta five product. My wife knows quality OSR gifts when she she's em folks! Thanks for this! Grab this one for your OSR & Old School adventures! 

Friday, March 27, 2020

OSR Review & Commentary On James V. West's Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One From Random Order Creations For OSR & Old School Campaigns

So I've been away on repair work today but that didn't stop my other half from making sure I had my OSR plate full with a bit of James V. West's  Black  Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One From  Random Order Creations. So no one sent me this nor gave it to me. My wife bought it for me because she's a bit worried that I'm going into OSR with drawl. I'm not but thanks to my wife for thinking of me from across the pond. So all of the first four issues of the OSR fanzine Black Pudding is put into one gonzo & well done collection.

  All of the wonderfully weird character classes featured in Black Pudding are here with the savage gonzo factor of James & other guest authors put into the savage dungeon master style of Mr.West's artwork. 

Monsters, treasure, adventures, spells, hirelings, character sheets & even micro adventures are here.
Do you wanna sample of the sort of weirdness that I'm talking about? 'Pay What You Want For issue #5 of Black Pudding here. 

Here's the over all thing about James V. West's Black  Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One . Everything in this fanzine is gear to actually be used in an OSR campaign especially along the lines of Labyrinth Lord or the 1981 D&D Basic Set edited by Tom Moldvay, and its accompanying Expert Set by David "Zeb" Cook. And why Heavy Helping works as a collection is because there's a weird ass gonzo consistency to the entire book grinding for a an OSR or old school campaign feel throughout the volume. The layout & writing is well done & very much up to James V. West's usual standards!

Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  feels like peeking at some old school dungeon master's campaign journal that they spent years building. But Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  is actually useful at the table top level.
Why is Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  actually useful at the table top level? There's a myriad of reasons but let's hit on my top five really: 

  1. There's a butt load of new PC classes that evoke that natural gonzo factor but peer past that & you see actual thought here. Some of that thought is deranged but in a good & old school way. The PC classes work on their own merits. 
  2. Those beautifully weird character sheets that have everything going for them. 
  3. A solid vision throughout the Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  book echoes the fanzine approach that works. 
  4. The mini encounters evoke some of the material that we've seen in early issues of  'The Dragon' magazine back in the TSR days. 
  5. Even though this material is geared for Labyrinth Lord I can see Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  easily being used with other OSR or old school systems. 
There's even a bunch of one page dungeons, NPC hirelings, and much more in the form of lots & lots of random tables. These are a staple of OSR products but in Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  they are an asset not a hindrance for campaign play. There's even material here to improve or expand upon the great & classic PC classes of cleric, fighter, wizard, & thief. Then there's magic house rules, followed by the classic Black Pudding fanzine covers. Black Pudding Heavy Helping Vol. One  gets a healthy five outta five. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Role Aids Demons & Sentinels Angle - Cha'alt/Godbound rpg Campaign Session Report Update

"Now come the Sentinels: creatures of godly origin with the harrowing task of combatting demonic evil. Can you solicit these divine guardians to aid you in the great struggle, or will they oppose you as they reveal some grander scheme against the Infernus?" The Sentinels Sourcepack includes: * The Sentinels Sourcebook, explaining the mythos of the seven Domains of Heaven and the unique methods of the Sentinels you reside there. The sourcebook also introduces the race of the Scions and the Elysiat and Seraphist character class. * The Adventure Book, containing a complete, multi-part adventure designed to embroil your characters in the activities of the Sentinels, as well as suggestions for ongoing campaigns. * Two beautiful player handouts: the Treatise on our Divine Aid, giving an explanation of the Sentinels and their history from the character's point of view; and The Delicate Maul of Bright Shadows, detailing the insane ramblings of a member of the Cabal who plots the overthrow of the divine Domains. * Dozens of Monster Folio sheets detailing the Sentinel hierarchy of each glorious Domain. COMPATIBLE WITH AD&D 1 & 2ND EDITION."

So last night my copy of Mayfair Demons I & II box sets along with my Sentinels box set all in the name of my Cha'alt/Godbound rpg campaign. I want to turn up the heat on the PC's plus do an email campaign update. There are two  very nasty classes in the form of the the Elysiat and Seraphist character class. Both of these classes are used to summon angels & that's where things are gonna get dicey. In my Cha'alt campaign the planar walls of this prime plane Earth are very thin. This is seen as an opportunity by a Chaotic Elysiat order to summon an Outcast Sentinel to Earth.These folks take the very nature of angels & use them for personal gain. These guys were the scum of my games. Peddlers in the names, ranks, & divine favors of the Heavens. They are  a cult unto themselves.  Things are not gonna go well at all for said order & it could go down hill for this prime Earth. So all of the adventure options are on the table top.
Its literally been a couple of years since I dusted off these campaign notes but with everything going on with the Pandemic. Events feel very much like the Y2K era or worse. So that apocalyptic buzz in the air fuels some campaign ideas.

Cha'alt itself as an adventure plot point has a Lovecraftian  ticking clock because of the very nature of the planet. But because the planar wave has such a central point in the game campaign I've been really going through my notes. Finding a decent copy of Mayfair Demons I & II box sets at a reasonable price can be had here. So with events happening on Earth its not going to take the principalities & presidents of the Infernus (another part of the infinite Abyss) from sticking their infernal noses into the business of Earth again. 
The Apocalypse box set is a game changer. This set can flip a game campaign very quickly & right off the bat establish the mood & frame of reference for a campaign.

As more & more of my Cha'alt campaign takes over Earth the fight grows more Lovcraftian & pseudo apocalyptic. It reminds me of a combination of the Rifts rpg, Gamma World,& Hellboy in equal measure with a spin of Venger's usual sleazy ball intergalactic hi jinks thrown in.

The armies of the Hyperboreans from Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg have been making life a living Hell for many of the lowly humans in the setting. These poor bastard have summoned any number of  heroes. These heroes & adventurers have ended up fight with each other more often then the monsters menacing humanity. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Retro Review of Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book By Bard Games For Your Old School Campaigns Part II

When it came to the second age of Atlantis and a DM needed monsters and creature only Bard's Games's
Bestiary fit the bill. This book was the second section of the Atlantis: The Lost World Rpg Source Book and it has a ton of material in it. From mythology to created creatures the Bestiary delved into them all weaving its monsters and races through a  kaleidoscope of imaginary races and beasts all the way to the pits of Hell itself.  Here's a break down from Wayne's Books; "Return to the second age of Atlantis to a time when  the race of men was young, and giants still walked the earth... when ancient dragons lay sleeping beneath the ocean waves, and the woods of Avalon and Stonehenge were alive with the haunting songs of the magical Sidhe. Encounter the strange and wondrous inhabitants of a bygone age in the Bestiary.
• The Alicanto, a fabulous bird that feeds on precious metals
• The Zephyr, beautiful winged folk from the Continent of Mu
• The Hantu, so-called "earth-bound demons" of legend
• The Ahl-at-Rab, reptilian rulers of the desert sands
• The Kraken, fearsome monsters of the deep
• The Zazir, diminutive and industrious creators of nature's wonders
• And many, many more...

With a separate section for fantasy role players, featuring stats for hundreds of monsters and wild animals, lists of encounters, and much more..."

If you were reading Dragon magazine in Eighty Eight then you were thumbing past advertisements and adds for Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book By Bard Games which contained two different source books under one cover and it was great value for the money. Make no mistake the book was strongly influenced by both Hollywood films such as Clash of the Titans, Legend, and many others.
 This book was packed and it was wall to wall artwork and background, there's a ton of the Atlantis splat book background campaign history in each of the creature sections with special attention paid to the Fey, fairy races, and old world mythological resources strained through the lens of the Atlantis setting.
 There were a ton of races, setting details, adventure hooks, possible religious and magick bits sprinkled though out the book and it covered everything including Undead, Atlantis: The Lost World had its own internal rpg house system that dove tailed right into the resources of the Arcanum
 Races got a first class treatment in this book with incredibly in depth entries perfect for sword and sorcery games set during the second age of Atlantis, there were non human cities, maps, settings, and more waiting for the dungeon master to cherry pick what they needed or wanted. Best of all the book could be used with OD&D, AD&D 1st edition, Runequest, Tunnels and Trolls and other games on the market with several conversion charts included.
 There were hints and suggestions of how the placement of monsters was done in the entries for each of these races of creatures within the bounds of Atlantis and beyond. Most of the entire Old World was used or at least Atlantian analog places and settings. The book went into some detail with a bit of history about the monsters and not even the undead were spared. The artwork is wacky, black and white line art but it fits the spare and leanness of the world of Atlantis.
 The giant races had a ton of detail and added several bits to their mythology making them prime antagonists and a playable race as well. This was one of the differences to other monster manuals of the time. The Atlantis books treated the creatures as more then mere cannon or dungeon fodder they were races with history, traditions, and culture behind them some going back thousands of years.
 Humanoid races were treated differently as well drawing down solid legends and backgrounds to the usual suspects. Sure the orcs analogs were there but there were desert dwelling serpent men and horrors beyond count waiting to murder adventurers in the night.
 Demonic and semi demonic races were also in evidence with all of their own charms and legends surrounding them. These horrors spoke of the mating of man and something else. There's more then a bit of Lovecraft and Robert Howard between the lines here in the monster entries but stats for these creatures are way in the back of the book.
 Monsters including the usual suspects such as the Dwarves and Elves of D&D fame are here as well closer to their inspiration from mythology and the movie Legend then the Monster Manual.
 Monsters of Earth, Sky, and Water are also here and they're mean as hell too, some of these races have an aura of menace and murder about them in spades enough to give many of the usual suspects from the Fiend Folio a run for their money.
 Werecreatures and horrors of the night are given their due as well, there is a sense that this isn't simply an Alternative age of mythology but something of an alien world entirely. The book reeks of Appendix N style Weird Tales action and in several spots delivers exactly that style of vibe making the Bestiary a perfect resource for OSR games such at Lamenations of the Flame Princess and Dark Albion a perfect fit.
 Remember those various charts and formula from the Compleat Alchemist? Well,  the Magical Hybrids and Constructs chapter has all of those monsters and more. This is one of those sections that the DM in some of the games I played in back in '90 or so were forbidden from referring back to this book for useful tid bits unless the appropriate rolls were made.
 The Monstrosities and Oddities chapter were for a wizard to look through for help with their latest hybrid monsters or worse. Its a particularly good chapter in a book full of bloody useful stuff.
 You get ton of monsters from myth and legend sprinkled though out the product and it really lets the DM know the details of a species without bogging down heavily on the gaming aspects of the creatures and monsters it describes.
 The undead are treated with something akin to respect and a sense of horror that just can get under your skin very quickly when you realize the full implications for adventurers. Ghouls are very Lovecraftian with a hint of menace from legend. Use some of these with some caution they can cause a lot of damage.
 Speaking of damage one difference with the religions of Atlantis as an appendix the PC's have full breath and depth of the setting's faiths. This makes this chapter something the clerics in the party are going to thumb though.
 Devils, demons and the infernal races get their due along with the spirit realms of Atlantis: The Lost World  setting. There's a ton of details here including infernal rulers, monsters, a lot of Atlantian occult details and more.
 Lots of the spiritual entities are given full fleshed out entries along with highlighted bullet points about bits and pieces of their full identities and place  within the spirit realms.
 The rulers and entities of the Elemental planes are also in evidence and their chapter opens up all kinds of possible alternative plane hopping and crousing on adventurers parts.
 The Genie, demons, and other horrors of the Abyss and the various Atlantian Hells are mean , dangerous, and can cause adventurers incedible amounts of stress and death.
 Many of the Earthbound demons are a part of the setting's spiritual realms as well as the various campaign and setting material driving the overarching plot in the landscape of  Atlantis enabling a DM to play merry havoc with adventurers out in the wilds.
 The sheer variety of monsters can be a bit overwhelming and placement is critical, there are several key points and even a smaller monster driven adventures are easily handled with handy tables and charts referencing everything into easily read sections of material.
Even the realms of the dead get their due and some of the cosmology issues of earlier edition games are elegantly handled in the Atlantis books. This also means that games such Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea can easily benefit from the Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book because the material is easy to convert and with a little fifth grade math can be used for all kinds of adventure design and custom old school adventure builds.
 There's a sense of completeness about the Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book  as if we know that this book is only one that we're really going to need. Is it any wonder that with such an almost system neutral gaming system within the bounds of this book. This makes book an invaluable resource for the old school gamer who wants to flesh out his own material.

All in all the Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book By Bard Games is a must have for any old school DM or player. The material here is fresh and interesting, as it was in 1988 and can be used with a wide variety of OSR games. The trick is to know how and where to apply the monsters and setting material as the DM needs.

Retro Review of Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book By Bard Games For Your Old School Campaigns Part 1

If you were gaming in Eighty Eight then you might have been lucky enough to pick the old school sword and sorcery sourcebook called Atlantis The Lost World From Bard Games. This book is a combination of both the original text of THE LEXICON (Atlas of the Lost World of Atlantis) and THE BESTIARY (the Atlantean creature compendium),according to Wayne's books Rpg Reference site.  The Lexicon created the setting material for the Atlantis line and
THE ARCANUM held the PC material. THE BESTIARY was the Atlantis Monster Manual and contained a wealth of monsters from myth, legend and some very original monsters.
 The Lexicon contained a wealth of information on the background and setting of the world of Atlantis including history, material, and a ton of background material most of this was generic enough to retrofit into your own AD&D style world but it could be applied to other games such as Tunnels and Trolls, Runequest or your own Rpg system.There was a semi definitive date ,history, and background for Atlantis.  Once again according to Wayne's;"In game terms, a Second Age campaign may begin anytime between the years 150-200 (by Atlantean Second Age reckoning); in modern day terms, this would equate to approximately 15,000 B.C."
 Today we're going to concentrate on the Lexicon aspect of the Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book. We get a nice solid overview of the places and settings of the various races that appeared in the THE ARCANUM. Everything here slots quite nicely into the background and setting of the Bard's Game in house world which has been polished out and expanded. Everything described is generic enough to fit any old school retroclone system.

 The artwork has improved, system and setting history has been scaled back and expanded in certain areas. Much of the material in Atlantis: The Lost World could easily fit your favorite rpg retroclone or AD&D style game with no issue at all. The book is very detailed and well written. The quality of the book is surprising for the era it came out of and much of the matrerial here would fit into a Lamentations pseudo historical world. Even better is the fact that the book's content could be used even with a Dark Albion game campaign.
 Places, governments, and even foreshadowing of Talislanta are all spelled out in this book and then expanded in certain areas of the book. The level of detail in some entries and places is a bit overwhelming but the book doesn't prattle on and instead outlines a number of optional places and peoples. There are sinister hints of things to come and are in the background waiting for adventurers to take full advantage.
 The cartography is exceptional and we get a full range of the city of Atlantis itself including neighborhood by neighbor write up through out this book. There is plenty of factions and city residents and more all waiting to cause a party trouble.

The book focuses on both a little and a lot all in one go and there's a sense of the mystical and Biblical throughout the book. As if we the audience are sitting through a lecture about the Second age from those who lived it.

Countries, settings, high weirdness is all there but there's something else lurking in the backdrop of  Atlantis: The Lost World. The various peoples and quick thumbnails of the various peoples lurking throughout Atlantis: The Lost World.

 When you get right down too it, there are boat loads of maps, details, and more waiting for your DM to incorporate them into their own home grown campaign. This is one of the things that makes the sourcbook work as a whole that all of these pieces fit together as an uneasy puzzle.

 There really something of the sword and sorcery vibrations working its way through the source book.  Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book. That fluff and essence of  Atlantis herself comes through in spades as one reads and thumbs through the  Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book
 There are also a ton of other rules and backgrounds that while optional can be essential in my humble opinion The approach works on several levels through the  Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book
On the whole this is one of the most dynamic and fun books that came out during the Eighties time period. If you can get this book at a good price? Don't even ask just grab it and go to town with a campaign all of your own.  The Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book is an excellent addition to any game campaign or inhouse setting. Bard Games did an excellent job with  The Atlantis: The Lost World Source Book.