Tuesday, June 8, 2021

OSR Commentary - Expanding Borders - Greyhawk Adventures & Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Crossovers

Become part of the oldest continuous fantasy campaign as you explore parts of Oerth never seen before. Learn about Greyhawk's deities, heroes, monsters, arcane items, magical spells, and much, much more. A book for lovers of Greyhawk and players of all fantasy role-playing games."

As a bit of an independant & OSR theorist, as I happen to be a big fan of James M. Ward. Now a recent interview that  James did with the Inapproriate Characters crew got our group thinking about some  Greyhawk & specifically Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Greyhawk Adventures.
This was one of the last hard backs that TSR did back in September 1988. You can read a whole history on the book on the Grehawk Wiki here. 

So the importance in Greyhawk Adventures is the fact of how many interesting twist & turns that this book brings into the Greyhawk campaign setting itself. We're talking about the background world setting material & not simply just the rules here. Greyhawk Adventures represents a transition between first & second edition;"As suggested by the note on the cover, the contents of Greyhawk Adventures represent a transitional state between the 1st and 2nd edition AD&D rules (Bambra 1989)." 
And there's more! This Greyhawk campaign  spill over means that these elements effect other campaign worlds that cross into Greyhawk. Not so much by design but unintended campaign side effects. This is something that we see within Greyhawk Adventures pages. And now your saying that your players are lunatics?! Not really because Greyhawk Adventures expands & increases the range of the campaign setting. This means that the plane of Greyhawk's reach also expands. 

Many of the Gods, monsters, & even the major NPC's can be crossed into other realms. And the reason?! Well that reason goes straight back into; 
"As suggested by the note on the cover, the contents of Greyhawk Adventures represent a transitional state between the 1st and 2nd edition AD&D rules (Bambra 1989)." Because my friends this crosses over into one of the most popular OSR Sword & Sorcery retroclone systems that's got an upcoming Kickstarter soon. Yes, we're talking about The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg game.  

If  we cross over Hyperborea with Gary Gygax's Oerth then the trasition is easily done with one of North Wind Adventures modules. Each module has numerous addition ruins that are perfect for planar gates. These same gates could host more then a few monsters from Greyhawk Adventures. Because this is exactly how such a hook could involve the PC's crossing over from Greyhawk into Hyperborea. The monsters cause havoc & adventurers follow to destory or subdue these creatures. 
Suddenly there's an incredibe world of Sword & Sorcery ripe for the exploitation by the rulers of Greyhawk. Such cross polenization creates rich opportunities for a DM who wants to exploit erm offer expansion for his player's PC's. 
Hypeborea offers some very unique possibilities for an enterprising crew of adventurers if they know how to twist them towards their avantage. Take for example 
 Corey R. Walden on The Anthropophagi of Xambaala which if used as a mini campaign up off point allows the DM to draw in the players into a nasty primitive little island of Sword & Sorcery weirdness . One that has all kinds of sinster & dangerous items for the rich of Greyhawk. 

And what about the potential to study incredible new schools of magic?! Greyhawk Adventures adds a ton of new spells & occult options for wizards to take prime advantage of. This means that wizards from Greyhawk making pillgrimages to Hyperborea & vice versa. The flow of magics between worlds could potentially make the Ixians of Hyperborea very nervous indeed. 
And not to mention the reach of the Great Old Ones of Lovecraftian fame. Or the horrors of Elemental Evil religions. Let's start with the fact that on Hyperborea many forgotten & forbidden monsters are ripe to exploit such a gateway for thier own hideous agenda. Fighting such a crossing unto Greyhawk may be a campaign unto itself. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.