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Anything like Astonishing Swordsman and Sorcerers of Hyperborea?


Leew

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*sigh* there was a fantastic, original setting planned (and largely written) for Magic World that never saw the light of day, alas.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/110168/Legend-The-Spider-Gods-Bride

The above is the only other thing that springs to mind. It’s for Legend, so easily adaptable to most other flavours of BRP / D100.

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Monster Island, for Mythras, has a foot in that territory... depending on how you choose to use it.
But yeah, I'd like to see more weird fantasy stuff for Legend/Mythras/BRP.
My own thought has been to use Renaissance Deluxe to run a blend of Warhammer and Lamentations of the Flame Princess... so quasi-historical with a thick layer of strange just under the surface... less Conan, more Solomon Kane.

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6 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

*sigh* there was a fantastic, original setting planned (and largely written) for Magic World that never saw the light of day, alas.

 
 

Any chance that mostly written setting might one day reach the light of day in some form?

Edited by Questbird
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27 minutes ago, Questbird said:

Any chance that mostly written setting might one day reach the light of day in some form?

I dunno. Any publishers out there interested in having a look? If so, drop me a PM. (I assume my Xyserdon is the one Nick's talking about, anyway.)

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The downloads section of this site include a variety of resources for you to play heroic fantasy settings using BRP, Elric!, or Magic World rules. 

For example, long long ago I adapted the Hyborian Age for use with Elric! 

here's the character creation system and a character sheet: 

https://basicroleplaying.org/files/file/64-conan-character-sheet/

 

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3 hours ago, kross said:

I dunno. Any publishers out there interested in having a look? If so, drop me a PM. (I assume my Xyserdon is the one Nick's talking about, anyway.)

Xyserdon was indeed what I was thinking of. From what Ben was kind enough to let me see, it is a fantastic setting with huge potential. It is a crying shame it has not seen the light of day.

If I remotely had the skills and resources to help get it published I would offer to do so. As is, if any publisher with those skills and resources is thinking of PMing Kevin, I will say I will throw ridiculous cash at any kickstarter or conventional publishing approach and will be VERY vocal in encouraging others to do so.

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On 9/16/2021 at 6:16 AM, kross said:

I dunno. Any publishers out there interested in having a look? If so, drop me a PM. (I assume my Xyserdon is the one Nick's talking about, anyway.)

Alternatively, it could be published via the BRP SRD and sold via Drivethrough rpg... Have you considered that option?

Kabouter games is doing to that with their Toxandria BRP setting. 

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On the Swords and Sorcery front I used to publish The Savage North for OpenQuest. After a good ten years its finally out of print though to make way for a new version The Saga of the Savage North 🙂  Here's the detail of the cover by Jon Hodgson, out later this year, early next 🙂

oq-savage-north-web-preview.png.c494b3059ed58c1cd4aa925ce6cbf04c.png

 

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Publisher of Crypts and Things/Monkey/OpenQuest/River of Heaven
The Sorcerer Under the Mountain

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On 9/15/2021 at 2:46 PM, Leew said:

Hello there!

I've been reading AS&SH for a while and really like the setting and flavour, but since I'm more familair with BRP, would you lads know anything that scratch this Weird Fantasy itch on our beloved system?

I fell in love with the AS&SH setting when I first saw it and backed its second edition Kickstarter project (mainly to get the new map). 

I made an aborted attempt to run Monster Island two or three years ago.  For it, I placed the island in AS&SH's world, using a large island (Thorgunna's Island) on the map that is towards the edge of the disc.  The characters were a circus troupe that ran afoul of the Khromarium authorities and booked passage on the first available ship...which just happened to be going to the island on a supply run.  Alas, I was too stressed out from work and the campaign soon fell apart.  I will get back to it one of these days.  It whispers to me in my dreams.  Now that I'm retired, I may even finally do something towards that conversion.  I'm not making promises, but I also can't shake the desire to do so. 

Edited by ThornPlutonius
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On 9/18/2021 at 5:44 AM, Newt said:

On the Swords and Sorcery front I used to publish The Savage North for OpenQuest. After a good ten years its finally out of print though to make way for a new version The Saga of the Savage North 🙂  Here's the detail of the cover by Jon Hodgson, out later this year, early next 🙂

 

 

That looks really nice. Maybe I can work with this as basis, and using the setting proposed by AS&SH like ThornPlutonius...

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On 9/18/2021 at 1:44 AM, Newt said:

On the Swords and Sorcery front I used to publish The Savage North for OpenQuest. After a good ten years its finally out of print though to make way for a new version The Saga of the Savage North 🙂  Here's the detail of the cover by Jon Hodgson, out later this year, early next 🙂

Makin' space on the bookshelf for the dead tree version of that....

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On 9/16/2021 at 9:28 PM, svensson said:

Also take a look at the World of Xoth, written by Morten Braten.

It's an excellent take on Sword and Sorcery genre written for Legend and translates well to Mythras.

Here's a link to the first book, 'The Spider God's Bride', that's piracy-free.

https://xoth.net/publishing/xp1/

I know Morten had talks with Chaosium about the possibilty of bringing the World of Xoth to the RQ ruleset. Alas, it was not to be, which is a great pity. But S&S is full of great pities.

 

On 9/18/2021 at 6:44 PM, Newt said:

On the Swords and Sorcery front I used to publish The Savage North for OpenQuest. 

 

Very keen to see a new edition of this.

And curious to know more about Xyserdon. Anything to share?

 

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10 hours ago, Sid Vicarious said:

I know Morten had talks with Chaosium about the possibilty of bringing the World of Xoth to the RQ ruleset. Alas, it was not to be, which is a great pity. But S&S is full of great pities.

 

An awful truth here. Never read much into Xoth, how is it? Been thinking of sticking to AS&SH rules anyway, to try something I am not used to DMing (I find BRP so more intuitive.

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2 hours ago, Leew said:

An awful truth here. Never read much into Xoth, how is it? 

The setting is very much like the Hyborian Age, with fewer anachronisms, and more sand. 

Its been tied to various rulesets over the last 12 years or so (d20, Legend, Pathdinder 1e, D&D 5e, and others) so there are releases in all them, and some in multiple systems; The Spider God's Bride is in both d20 and Legend, for example. For d100, Mongoose Legend has at least 3 titles.

https://xoth.net/publishing/index.htm  has free players guides to download.

 

 

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On 9/27/2021 at 8:15 PM, Sid Vicarious said:

The setting is very much like the Hyborian Age, with fewer anachronisms, and more sand. 

Its been tied to various rulesets over the last 12 years or so (d20, Legend, Pathdinder 1e, D&D 5e, and others) so there are releases in all them, and some in multiple systems; The Spider God's Bride is in both d20 and Legend, for example. For d100, Mongoose Legend has at least 3 titles.

https://xoth.net/publishing/index.htm  has free players guides to download.

 

 

Thank you for the link! I wonder how hard would it be to adapt the Player's guide to BRP...

Edit: or the mongoose actually does that?

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On 9/28/2021 at 12:23 PM, Leew said:

Thank you for the link! I wonder how hard would it be to adapt the Player's guide to BRP...

Edit: or the mongoose actually does that?

No, the various Legend conversions do not touch the Player's guide to Xoth. I did some of my own conversion when I ran a RQ6/Mythras campaign using Spider God's Bride, and even got permission to go ahead and write a conversion of the Player's Guide for Mythras (from Morten and TDM). In the end though I got caught in a dilemma between creating a version for a system that I liked and played, RQ6 later Mythras, versus the shoddy Legend conversion of Spider God's Bride, which I *hated* at the time of release and that opinion has not changed much. It seemed pointless to continue doing a full conversion for the guide when all the adventures were bad conversions, and which used Legend at that. You can still read my thoughts about the Legend version here - http://forum.mongoosepublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=55333#p751331

Other Mythras GMs are more charitable and have found the Legend SGB useable. It did get some corrections but those are frankly still pretty weak. If you use it I would recommend picking up the PDF of the original, XP1, from xoth.net. It is cheaper and has more detail than the conversion. Incredibly, quite a bit of the detail, especially when it comes to NPCs (and some of the background) was cut in the Legend version. Some of the Legend NPCs look ridiculous (and certainly weak) when compared with the originals. The Legend authors did not have a good grasp of the system, and it shows.

Xoth remains a decent (if highly derivative of Hyboria) S&S campaign setting and series of adventures, SGB being the best.

I wrote some capsule reviews for the other adventures for the Mythras Discord, I repeat here:

Quote

XP2 "Song of the Beast Gods".

I wanted to write a few capsule reviews of all the Xoth series, using the original XP1 to XP6 not the Legend conversions.

XP1 is a big one, so I'm going to leave it for now and go on to XP2 "Song of the Beast Gods". XP2 is a 28 page scenario written for Pathfinder. It sets up a dynastic crisis (driven by two feuding royal sisters) for a small Yar-Ammonite (Egyptian analogue) city of Khadis into which the PCs can become embroiled. The introduction clearly spells out who the major NPCs are, and what the big plot is - preparations for a cult ceremony which will transform Khadis for good.

 With a scenario like this (an isolated location, competing NPCs, precarious political situation, secret cults, secret histories) I prefer a number of different hooks to grab the players. A variety of hooks should tell you something about the location, the NPCs and their interests. With these it's much easier to tailor the rest of the scenario to your group, different PCs will get pulled in by their individual interests, and may already "know" (through their background) some of the NPCs in Khadis. Instead we get a pretty weak "save the slave girl caravan" encounter, which gives the PCs a NPC contact who can lead them straight into the action.

After the introductory encounter most of the remainder of the text describes the city of Khadis, the palace, and a couple of hidden areas in the city. There is a page at the back discussing a possible sequence of events which I suspect is how it went during playtesting but is nevertheless quite useful as it runs down some of the possibilities for the adventure climax.

What's good: the setup is ok, a recipe for immediate conflict and danger for the PCs if they go straight for the palace, and plenty of opportunity to get into trouble. If they take a different approach there are a couple of alternatives to get access to the hidden area of the city. I can see players getting very confused, fast, and not trusting anyone, which might be a wise decision. There's not a lot of incentive to play the hero, except the promise of some reward. If one or more of the players are interested in getting involved with the royal feud, this is a pretty good one.

Spoiler

Secret Cult - There's an underground cult of the Hyena around which the climax hinges. This has a bit of flavour and matches the setting. It's complemented by a special kind of embalmed creature in giant and smaller sizes the PCs can encounter.

Converting to Mythras: Most of the NPCs are pretty average guards, captains and scholars-cultists. Both the Zoth-Ur cult and the Beast-Gods can be translated into Theist cults with matching miracle and Folk Magic spells. The NPC levels are quite low at 2-3 so there are no overly powerful magic effects in use.

What's not so good: Introduction is not convincing. NPCs are adequate but thinly drawn. Details of the city of Khadis are very slight and its presence is peripheral to the scenario. It would have been useful to know more about the secondary NPCs and where their allegiances lie. Player and PC buy-in will have to come from the GM and players.

Final Score:
Swords: 4
Sorceries: 3

Quote

XP3: The Citadel Beyond the North Winds

Men of Yg Arkanth Mal, He is the witch-king of Galuga, grandmaster of necromancy and alchemy. Consort Eliyh and now, the bards of Tartuun whisper, the witch-king of Galuga seeks a new queen. For the minions of Arkanth Mal sweep across the borders of Tharag Thule and Lamu, slaying men and taking only young women as slaves back to Galuga, the Citadel beyond the North Wind!

XP3: The Citadel Beyond the North Wins is an odd one. It's pitched at a higher level than any of the other adventures (8-10) and is for the most part a couple of dungeon/monster crawls without much else going on.

As far as I can make out, there's one narrative thread: big bad necromancer Arkanth Mal is kidnapping women and bringing them to his palace in an attempt to re-embody his dead consort Eliyh. Enter the PCs. As the introduction says it is more complicated than that - for one, there is another, even worse sorcerer further to the east - Boras the White King.

Spoiler

Boras is in fact Yon-Ylath-Ul, a primal polymorphous being, physically and magically powerful, protected by large numbers of his subjects, the Naathi. These people don't get a sympathetic treatment in the text as well as getting a raw deal being ruled by a fake-human king.

There are three locations detailed - the border-town of Tartuun, the Citadel, Palace and the Prisons and Pits of Galuga, and the Ziggurat of Boras. Galuga is the most detailed, as it is the home of Arkanth Mal. It's effectively a big dungeon filled with dangerous creatures the lower down it goes, and protected by Mal's minions.

Tartuun is thinly drawn, serving as a possible starting point for the PCs as it has a connection with the slavers who work for Arkanth Mal, and is largely filled with villains.

I am not sure what I would do with this. It's the weakest of the XP adventures I have read so far. Just about all the NPCs are about as bad as you can get, or they are bland. None of the NPCs has much of an agenda or interest, unless it's serving Arkanth Mal. The Necromancer's own agenda is explained clearly enough in an overly-long backstory but there are no other characters presented to either oppose, complement or complicate things. There isn't even a patron NPC who wants to hire the PCs in a rescue plan, other than 'old men and women asking for help'.

Spoiler

The interests and motives of the larger villain Yon-Ylath-Ul, are not described, he is just literally, a big bad blob. The only reason the PCs might dare infiltrate his ziggurat is if Arkanth Mal persuades them to rescue his children, who are being held by Yon-Ylath-Ul.

Final Score:
Swords: 2
Sorceries: 1

 

 

Quote

XP4: Land of the Silver Lotus
Xoth ur ia fthagn natamis yuralla

This is a bigger book than XP2 or 3 at 48 pages, and it's about 10 times better than both of them. The structure is much more like a multi-location sandbox than anything so far in the Xoth series, as well as that, this could fit perfectly into a Monster Island campaign. The setting is a small archipelago of three islands which could easily be found off the coast of Monster Island, they could even be positioned as part of the Hina Bay atoll, as the biggest island is only 7 miles long which is about the size of some of the Hina Bay islands. Again, the system is Pathfinder, this time it is set at level 4-6 so converting it to Mythras is a bit easier than something higher level.

Spoiler

||Although it's a sandbox there's an underlying meta-plot of an ancient lost city and a long dead necromancer, Kwalu. This plot is initially hidden from any explorers searching after silver lotus, but becomes known slowly through contact with NPCs of the islands.||

I don't like the use of "pygmy" which is used all the way through to describe two of the island groups, since each group has a name (the Barana and the X'urana), I don't see why their actual names could not be used. It's here that the book (and Xoth in general) is not as good when it comes to describing and using cultural groups adequately, when compared with Mythras. The racist cliche of "hostile evil pygmies" was already tired and offensive when I first saw it as a teenager in 80s RPGs (in White Dwarf magazine), it's not quite as bad here, but it's pretty close. To make it worse, the leaders of both groups on the island are both obsessed with height, and in having sex with taller people, which might even involve the PCs. That said I *also* don't like the use of "Savage" to describe the lowland jungle tribal groups in the Monster Island supplement, or the descriptor of "Primitive" in the core rules to describe what could be "Hunter Gatherer". When you look at the list "Civilised, Barbarian, Nomad, Primitive" ... spot the odd one out!

To get adventurers interested in and investigating the island, there are a number of obvious but plausible hooks, either they are shipwrecked and stranded, needing to stop for repairs, but more likely they are there to acquire the silver lotus drug. The Silver Lotus of the title is an addictive drug similar to Black Lotus of Monster Island but with much more complex and potent effects.

Spoiler

||The lotus grows underground and harvesting the lotus leaf is incredibly dangerous since the plant itself is a very dangerous "boss level" adversary, a bit like an amalgam of several of the plant "creatures" found on Monster Island, converting this creature would be a fun exercise.||

Spoiler

||There's a beached pirate ship on one of the smaller islands of the group, with an interesting crew member, but that's about all the pirates have going for them. Unfortunately the pirates as a whole are one-dimensional characters and don't have any suggested interest or agenda on the island, they are just beached for repairs. Unless the PCs attempt to recruit the pirates as allies they aren't going to get involved. There are 40 pirates crewing the ship so raiding them for their meagre treasure seems like a bad idea and will prove unrewarding. If I was running this I would make their group smaller, and wreck their ship entirely. This would turn them into more of a threat since they would seek a way off the archipelago - most likely using the PC's ship. On the same island as the beached pirates, there's a dormant (but also cursed) temple nearby the pirate ship the PCs might be curious to investigate, and re-activate.||

The Barana control access to the silver lotus, so it's likely the PCs will have to visit and negotiate with the Barana king, Tiku. The collection of NPCs who are presented in the Barana village hide power struggles and interests which create an interesting and volatile setup for the PCs to walk into.

Spoiler

||Not everyone in the Barana village are who they appear to be. The shaman (correctly) thinks the current king is dangerous to the tribe, and an adopted member of the Barana is secretly and covertly posssessed by the spirit of a former chief, both of these characters will complicate things and will likely drive the PCs deeper into the island's danger spots.||

There are a collection of prisoners held by the Barana which might interest or compel the PCs into a rescue attempt, although they have no detail beyond a couple of words. These prisoners could be part of a plot-hook, such as a rescue.

The other tribe, who are opposed to the Barana, are the swamp-dwelling X'urana. They are not easily encountered but can provide allies or adventure seeds for the PCs. They aren't directly involved in the main plot of adventure, but could get mixed up with the PCs either through the GM pushing some X'uruana at the PC group, or even one of X'urana prisoners held at the Barana village might lead them to their swamp village, if released from the prison.

Spoiler

||The most interesting NPC of the X'uruana is the shaman Y'Xatu who is both powerful and has crucial knowledge concerned Kwalu.||

The PCs may get sent on a temple-raid to find some crucial maguffins. This temple turns out to be guarded by slug-creatures worshipped by the X'uruana. I find this a bit of a daft notion, but there it is. The temple itself is infested with all kinds of nasty but fairly predictable creatures. Given the X'uruana live in a swamp surrounded by crocodiles, I would use that if I was converting to Mythras. As it is they only play a minor role as simple hazards. I would make the X'uruana crocodile totem animists and change the temple to be themed around the crocodiles. This is largely because I find the idea of slugs as antagonists more comical than threatening.

Spoiler

||The final two locations detail the forbidden city and the temple of the necromancer Kwalu. The city will feed some more of the background story to the PCs, a load of treasure and a number of undead and unatural guardians. The final location is a Death-cult temple still maintained by the original priests and cult members, who are now all undead, accompanied by more undead and dangerous creatures. Depending on what maguffins and allies the PCs have brought with them the final encounter with Kwalu may go easily or badly. There is a quick escape route if things look dicey for the PCs. If they do flee Kwalu will make for a nasty adversary who gets worse with time.||

The Good: a number of varied locations with lots of conflicting NPCs who have reasons to get involved with the PCs. The hidden plot is well integrated into the setting and as it becomes revealed tells you more about the current situation.

Spoiler

||Some unique creatures/characters which make challenging and unusual conversions into the Mythras equivalent - the Silver Lotus 'boss-plant', the shaman Y'Xatu, and the necromancer Kwalu. The silver lotus, and the silver lotus caverns are well developed in much more detail than black lotus, or any of the drugs detailed in Monster Island.||

There are plenty of ways to involve the PCs into the various schemes bubbling away on the island, both using the suggested hooks, and other ways will suggest themselves from the detail in the locations.

The Bad: so-called 'pygmies' are just people who are on average shorter than other people, obsessing about this even gets confusing when reading through because the text does not always distinguish between the Barana and the X'urana. Having the leaders of each group be so concerned about height gives them cartoonish personalities. The X'urana and the pirates could have been better integrated, there's no compelling reason to visit the X'urana swamp village, and doing so is dangerous, the pirates aren't that interesting but with a few tweaks could be made so.

Final Score:
Swords: 6
Sorceries: 4

 

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