Tuesday, September 15, 2020

OSR Campaign Castles & Crusades Commentary On Using Pirates of Hagrost: Wilderness Book Four By Bryan Hinnen , & Dan Hauffe From Judge's Guild

 "Fury mounts within the Village of Ashenshaft as racial tension between Half-Elves and Humans rises to a fever pitch. Beware the ancient sewers beneath the conflict-torn village; the Undead and their master lurk there! What makes the fearsome River Pirates different from their sea brethren? Is it blind hatred for the Invincible Overlord or the all-consuming lust for treasure? All these and many more fascinating endeavors await you in The Pirates of Hagrost!"

When it comes to Judge's Guild products there has always been a few stand out & solid entries that have proven to be very useful at the table top level. Case in point Pirates of Hagrost (1982) or Judges Guild, Wilderness Book Four by Bryan Hinnen , & Dan Hauffe. 
Why?! Because when you need a follow up to & lead in from U1 Sinister Secret of Salt Marsh module.  series or even Ghosts of Salt Marsh. Because we've never run the 'U' series as a Scooby Doo mystery. 

Oh you know what I'm talking about, the fact that the haunted house has far more to do with adventure elements then the supernatural. Personally turn the volume up to 'eleven' on the supernatural & increase the Lovecraftian. The 'alchemist' becomes an actual lich & the pirates/smugglers become part of a network of the thieves guild. The sea wasp from the U1 The Sinister Secret of Salt Marsh does generally fall into the PC's hands. But its the fact that these smugglers are a part of the same organization that's been reaching its grimy hands into many worlds & expanding operations. Yes I'm talking about 'The Slave Lords' from Scourge of the Slave Lords (A1-4) By David Cook, Allen Hammack, Harold Johnson, Tom Moldvay, Lawrence Schick, & Edward Carmien. 
Time & again these bloody bastards have been reaching their mits in worlds across the planes, robbing, pillaging, & causing mayhem for decades! 

They make excellent NPC bosses & patrons for the scum that's featured in  Pirates of Hagrost (1982). They've been eying up 'The Wilderlands of High Fantasy' & so they've sent in some of their sea scum to do what they do best. Rob, pillage, & cause mayhem all of the while establishing a beach head for the Slavers. 

This makes a perfect piratical campaign lead in for a Castles & Crusades campaign & its a great lead in for the 'Wilderlands of High Fantasy'. Is there enough here in Pirates of Hagrost?! To make this treatment worth while?! Yes especially considering what's in the JG booklet;""This exciting, fun-packed module brings to life part of JG's Campaign Map One. Numerous wilderness, village, and dungeon maps, complete with fascinating descriptions are crammed into this 48-page fantasy adventure!"

That expansion is gonna be straight into having your players PC's brought into JG's 'City State of the Invincible Overlord' by the authorities or worse the Thieves Guild who know that some power is muscling into their turf,operations, & scores! 

God help them if they cross the Invicible one himself!? There's lots of idiots who have done that & their a part of the landscape. Remember the city state does have several of its own grave yards. This situation after the module is over is going to require some serious role playing, dice roles, & certainly some very cagey players. 

There are several reasons why this works for Castles & Crusades: 

  1. The Wilderlands of High Fantasy is designed to be modular making it a perfect C&C campaign. 
  2. Inclusion of the Slave Lords is going to be rather unexpected even for the most jaded of players.
  3. There's plenty of opportunity for the player's PC's to die. 
  4. Judge's Guild stuff isn't well known among C&C players. 
  5. Pirates of Hagrost (1982) is a perfect set up for a C&C pirate campaign.
  6. There are some deadly encounters in the adventure. 
  7. NPC death is a perfect set up to draw in the player's PC into the pirate underbelly of the City State. 
  8. Plunder means taxes & pirates mean opportunity for the PC's to screw up big time. 
  9. The players are not going to expect that the 'Invincible One' could be watching their every move. 
  10. This is the perfect opportunity to sell of the PC's as slaves. Don't waste it! Savor it & really have fun with Pirates of Hagrost

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