Thursday, February 25, 2021

Return To The Blood Soaked Alleyways of SANCTUARY! A Cepheus Engine Rpg View Into Chaosium's Thieves World rpg Campaign Box Set

"Skulk through the night on the heels of Shadowspawn . . . delve into the twisted tunnels of the Purple Mage . . . attend the court (or perhaps the harem) of Prince Kadakithis . . . dodge the keen-eyed Hell Hounds with Jubal's Hawkmasks . . . drink your ale and guard your purse at the Vulgar Unicorn . . . boldly walk the streets of the wildest, most varied, and most downright fascinating city in fantasy literature — SANCTUARY, the Thieves' World!
* The Players' Guide to Sanctuary — the creation of Sanctuary; Thud and Blunder, Sanctuary chronology; 'Hakiem' and 'The Hell Hounds'; a stroll through the city; a captured llsigi document; magic, working ladies, and oaths; glossary /pronunciation guide; a map of the known world; a city map. * The Game Master's Guide to Sanctuary — palm-greasing and arrest procedures; a secret Carronnian report; city gods and religions; main city encounters; encounters for the Jewelers' Quarter, Processional, and Westside; 18 tables of specific encounters, descriptions/encounters for The Maze, Bazaar, Street of Red Lanterns, Downwind; business generators and tables by area; 6 area maps, 15 floorplans of typical buildings (including the Vulgar Unicorn); scenario suggestions.
* The Personalities of Sanctuary — story/character index; system notes as applicable and character stats for 9 RPG systems (minimum of twenty characters each, each system divided to Prince and Retinue. Transients, and Residents); general descriptions of other characters.
* Wall Map of Sanctuary. Referee Maps of The Maze, The Maze underground.""
Write up of Chaosium's Thieves World Thanks to Wayne's Books Rpg resource.

Based on the highly successful Sword & Sorcery paperbacks series & shared universe, '
Thieves' World is a shared world fantasy series created by Robert Lynn Asprin in 1978'. Thieves World spawned a box set by Chaosium published in '81. We covered 'Thieves World' extensively right here on the blog. 

Its been a New York minute since anything has been done with our copy of Chaosium's  Thieves World. But recently something has been at the at the back of our  mind about the box set; "The darkly grim city of Sanctuary was an immediate hit with readers. The series with its roots in fantasy roleplaying in turn inspired the Thieves World Sanctuary Adventure Pack. In keeping with the spirit of the montage of authors of the series, Greg Stafford, et al at Chaosium worked with with some of the brighter lights of the RPG industry (Dave Arneson, Steve Marsh, Midkemia Press, Marc Miller, Steve Perrin, Lawrence Schick, Ken St. Andre, and many others) to make the Thieves' World RPG compatible with 9 RPG systems: AD&D, Adventures in Fantasy, Chivalry & SorceryDragonQuestD&DThe Fantasy TripRuneQuestTraveller, and Tunnels & Trolls." 

Because there is an original Traveller rpg conversion of Thieves World it makes the box set a perfect campaign setting for Cepheus Engine rpg coupled with Sword of Cepheus. Thieves World as a  possible star port destination for Cepheus Engine rpg combined with Sword of Cepheus makes a hot spot for Pulpy  interstellar science fantasy action. 

What makes this work is the fact that Thieves World sets the stage as a blood soaked backwater world with all kinds of possible uses on the galactic stage. What works to set this up are the following Thievs World stories: 
"Sentences of Death" by John Brunner;
"The Face of Chaos" by Lynn Abbey;
"The Gate of the Flying Knives" by Poul Anderson;
"Shadowspawn" by Andrew Offutt;
"The Price of Doing Business" by Robert Lynn Asprin;
"Blood Brothers" by Joe Haldeman;
"Myrtis" by Christine DeWees; and
"The Secret of the Blue Star" by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The PC's could be acting as agents of the local interstellar governement sent into handle Sanctuary itself. Thieves World was really the pioneering work for shared world building and eventually spawned a published RPG setting which we cheerfully used. Even my players loved playing in Sanctuary. But would they still love it using Sword of CepheusThe setting was just as rich as we remembered with plenty of unsavory NPC characters running around, along with some that have a touch of inner nobility.The trick is  knowing which ones can add,hinder, or even soul dri erm kill a PC.. More to come as we continue to develop this into a possible fully releaized campaign setting & shared DM universe.  

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