Saturday, November 12, 2022

Raising The Undead - OSR Commentary On Dark Wizard Game's Shadow of the Necromancer Levels 1-3 By Mark Taormino & Some Sword & Sorcery Options

 "Fear stalks through the darkness of night in the form of the walking dead! They attack innocent travelers and merchant caravans in

the moonlight! Animated skeletons have also been seen digging up the recently dead and carrying them into the nearby ruins of an
old abandoned keep! Rumor spreads fast from lip to ear amongst the locals, whispering that a sinister hooded figure has been seen
directing the undead and is taking up residence in that foul dungeon! Your stalwart group of adventurers has decided to take on this
challenge, get the treasure you know is in there and defeat this evil menace known only as the Shadow of the Necromancer!"
Tonight we've been meeting & talking with fellow dungeon masters about our recent dust up with the  Hyperborea rpg & the idea of possibly running a first level adventure connected with the system. And one possibility is Dark Wizard Game's Shadow of the Necromancer. 

There are few reasons for this right out of the gate & this ties back into James Mishler's Necromancer Class – Masters of Death and Undeath which we covered at length right around Halloween time here on the blog. 

The idea here is that someone has gotten a hold of the Demonicus Ex Mori a dire book of Hyperborean necromatic lore stretching back to the age of the Green Death. The magicks of this book are far more dangerous then the standard necromancer's rituals. 
And things begin to spiral out of control as the undead become an issue straight out of the gate. The circumstances become much more of an issue as the dead begin to distrupt the seasonal stock up of the harvest before the Winter of Hyperborea. 
And here's where Lamentations of the Flame Princesses Death Frost Doom might be the second adventure in this trilogy of Christmas terror. 

The second adventure might be an encounter with one of the undead of Death, Frost, Doom which is animated by a demon simliar to one seen in the Army of Darkness movies aka the ASIMANTOS. These horrors can be seen in the mouths of the undead as the animating force. And Mishler has made it worse by including several low level demon orders  that the necromancer can summon; 'ASIMANTOS (Lower Order Demon) No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6) Alignment: Chaotic (Evil) Movement: 120’ (40’) Armor Class: 4 Hit Dice: 1 Attacks: 1 Spear Damage: 1d4 Save: F1 Morale: 8 Hoard Class: VII XP: 25 Asimantos demons, known as the “Pick-Nose” demons, are among the least of true demon kind, usually quasits or other lower order demons transformed into this form as punishment for lesser infractions. Asimantos demons stand merely one foot tall, with a spindly malformed human-like body, and carry a simple wooden spear. They gather in small groups, as misery loves company. Asimantos demons have all the standard demonic abilities and weaknesses afforded to lower order demons. They are immune to normal weapons, but can be hit by silver, iron, or magical weapons. Asimantos demons attack using their tiny spears (melee only, they are too weak to throw them), or by flinging a ball of flaming mucus picked from their nose. The mucus has a range of 10/20/30 feet, and deals 1d4 points of fire damage. Plus, a hit target must make a saving throw versus Spells or be sickened and suffer a - 2 to all attack rolls until they can clean off the mucus with a vial of holy water. Asimantos demons can use the following spelllike abilities at will: detect good, detect magic, and polymorph self (form of a frog, rat, or a slithering tracker).' 
Undead in these adventures are actually Lovecraftian demonic forces making things that much deadlier & more dangerous. 

Once you dispose of the undead horrors then you've got to banish or destroy the ASIMANTOS in all of it's grotesque glory. And of course this could all be taking place just outside of the Hyperborean capital. 
The recovery of the Demonicus Ex Mori a dire book of Hyperborean necromatic lore is going to be on the minds of the players. Could they succeed?! That's a qood question & not one easily answered. 
While  Dark Wizard Game's Shadow of the Necromancer could be played in a few sessions, the module could act as a bridge into events surrounding T1 The Village of Hommlet by Gary Gygax. The foul magicks unleashed by the necromancer dove tailing into the elemental evil forces of the cults that surround T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil! 
This could go into the fact that the necromancer of Shadow of the Necromancer could be working for or with the elemental evil cult providing cannon fodder in the form of foul undead horrors.  There's a lot of potential here with many of the adventure elements cross polinating for a very successful campaign set up especially for Hyperborea or your favorite OSR system. 

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