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Questbird

Lankhmar and Nehwon - DCC kicktarter in progress

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I run a campaign set in the world of Nehwon, using Elric! rules.

Over the years, the rights to Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar has passed around various game companies, from TSR to Mongoose (MRQ -- who also plagiarised my online map of Nehwon) to Pinnacle (Savage Worlds) and now to Goodman Games, publishers of Dungeon Crawl Classics. They are currently running a kickstarter for a new Lankhmar boxed set. The kickstarter can be found at:

It's done very well for itself and has 4 days to go. That's only partly why I'm posting though; it doesn't need any help from me. Over the years I have bought most of the game supplements put out for this setting. I'll get the PDFs from this kickstarter too though I'm not holding my breath. One reason for this is that DCC is a D&D retro-clone and I am pretty much over those. It means that the adventures will be tied to character levels and classes and hit-dice and all the rest of it.

Anyone else use Lankhmar or Nehwon as their setting for BRP games?

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I'm a sucker for Lankhmar stuff. I still own everything TSR ever made for the line, as well as the Mongoose books. And because I'm a sucker I'll be getting this too.

Having said that, I think Goodman Games makes very good adventures that usually contain a lot of material that can be easily adapted to other games besides DCC RPG. For instance, the three existing DCC Lankhmar adventures are well written and do a very good job of capturing the spirit of Lieber -- Michael Curtis seems to be very conscientious about this point, so I'm fairly optimistic they'll produce something I will like.

I haven't run a true Nehwon campaign (Just used Lankhmar in a home-brew setting years ago), but recently I spent a good deal of time pouring over my old adventures and gazetteers after re-reading all of the stories and even worked up a world map in hexographer and if I get the opportunity, I'd really enjoy running a game here with Magic World, with some of the Mongoose bits (like the corruption table) bolted on.

Speaking of Mongoose, that's funny you mention their plagiarism. I was really scratching my head when I was looking for pre-existing Nehwon maps and I saw "Carse" appear on two different versions. I thought I was losing my mind, when I could swear that Carse was part of Midkemia. Which now makes perfect sense that it could be in your homebrew version of Nehwon, but man, that is really poor form by Mongoose.

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On 4/21/2017 at 0:05 AM, Questbird said:

...One reason for this is that DCC is a D&D retro-clone and I am pretty much over those. It means that the adventures will be tied to character levels and classes and hit-dice and all the rest of it.

Anyone else use Lankhmar or Nehwon as their setting for BRP games?

While you've graduated to the hardcore BRP lines, it strikes me that the d100 gateway drug of Classic Fantasy should make this KS a trivial one to run using your preferred engine...

Edited by g33k
hadn't properly finished editing before hitting "post"

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9 hours ago, Nick J. said:

Speaking of Mongoose, that's funny you mention their plagiarism. I was really scratching my head when I was looking for pre-existing Nehwon maps and I saw "Carse" appear on two different versions. I thought I was losing my mind, when I could swear that Carse was part of Midkemia. Which now makes perfect sense that it could be in your homebrew version of Nehwon, but man, that is really poor form by Mongoose.

Carse has pretty much become an interdimensional city because it has this wealth of playable material. You can find it in Midkemia, in the kingdom of Alba in the German worlds Magira or Midgard under the name of Corrinis, spelled in the correct Scottish way in the Holy Country of Glorantha, or with the somewhat strange name Caernarfon in Gwynedd. I hope that Mongoose did pay license to Mr. Abrams - the other instances (with the logical exception of Caernarfon) did.

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On 4/22/2017 at 6:26 PM, Nick J. said:

Speaking of Mongoose, that's funny you mention their plagiarism. I was really scratching my head when I was looking for pre-existing Nehwon maps and I saw "Carse" appear on two different versions. I thought I was losing my mind, when I could swear that Carse was part of Midkemia. Which now makes perfect sense that it could be in your homebrew version of Nehwon, but man, that is really poor form by Mongoose.

It wasn't just Carse, which I did plonk on to the western coast of the Lankhmar Continent, but even certain islands I added to the map for my campaign. Although I had not intended it this way, it worked just like a 'copyright trap' or 'trap street' so that I could identify that Mongoose had plagiarised my map.

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20 hours ago, g33k said:

While you're while you've graduated to the hardcore BRP lines, it strikes me that the d100 gateway drug of Classic Fantasy should make this KS a trivial one to run using your preferred engine...

Maybe. I have no problem running Lankhmar with Elric! and now that Classic Fantasy has gone all Mythras-sy I'm less keen. It surprises me that people still try to shoehorn the Twain into a class/level system. The pair of them are ridiculously multi-skilled. Both are expert swordsmen and thieves. They can handle boats and sail by themselves on Nehwon's worst and most isolated oceans. Fafhrd can sing, and climb mountains. The Mouser even has some skill with spells.

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18 hours ago, Joerg said:

Carse has pretty much become an interdimensional city because it has this wealth of playable material. You can find it in Midkemia, in the kingdom of Alba in the German worlds Magira or Midgard under the name of Corrinis, spelled in the correct Scottish way in the Holy Country of Glorantha, or with the somewhat strange name Caernarfon in Gwynedd. I hope that Mongoose did pay license to Mr. Abrams - the other instances (with the logical exception of Caernarfon) did.

It was a great city product, especially the polished Chaosium version, lovely maps and a fully working city with factions etc. Very easy to slot in anywhere (as I did too). As detailed as Pavis, with more logic (Pavis, even in Glorantha is kind of in the middle of nowhere). Heh, but later I slipped even Pavis into my southern Nehwon campaign.

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I'm not a huge D&D fan but I do love DCC and did join in on the kickstarter... not so much for use as intended but to put it on blocks and strip for parts in other urban fantasy purposes. I do like the atmosphere of the Leiber stories, and DCC fully embraces random whimsy... a flavor a lot of modern RPGs seem to consider anathema for some reason but I'd like to make more use of.
It does sound like the authors are going above and beyond to keep it authentic to the source material, so it oughtta be a good resource for Lankhmar fans.

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On 4/21/2017 at 0:05 AM, Questbird said:

I run a campaign set in the world of Nehwon, using Elric! rules.

Have you run Elric! straight or made any rules changes or used any house-rules to reflect Newhon?

On 4/22/2017 at 1:26 AM, Nick J. said:

I'm a sucker for Lankhmar stuff. I still own everything TSR ever made for the line, as well as the Mongoose books. And because I'm a sucker I'll be getting this too.

I've got a PDF of Lankhmar Unleashed and an adventure (Swords Against Sorcery) that I bought years ago but haven't looked at in a while. What else was released for Mongoose's Lankhmar line (MRQ1 or 2), and what was worthwhile?

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2 hours ago, K Peterson said:

I've got a PDF of Lankhmar Unleashed and an adventure (Swords Against Sorcery) that I bought years ago but haven't looked at in a while. What else was released for Mongoose's Lankhmar line (MRQ1 or 2), and what was worthwhile?

Lankhmar and Nehwon were books that were compiled into Lankhmar Unleashed and had a couple of adventures in the back half of each book. If you already have Lankhmar Unleashed then I doubt you are missing anything; the adventures didn't exactly leave an impression and I've never run them, so I can't say if they are any good or not. Otherwise, I like the write-up on Quarmall and the rules for corruption for Black Magic are pretty good. 

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10 hours ago, K Peterson said:

Have you run Elric! straight or made any rules changes or used any house-rules to reflect Newhon?

I've got a PDF of Lankhmar Unleashed and an adventure (Swords Against Sorcery) that I bought years ago but haven't looked at in a while. What else was released for Mongoose's Lankhmar line (MRQ1 or 2), and what was worthwhile?

I use it fairly straight. I changed (or supplemented) the magic system. I use the Maelstrom magick system and an adaptation of Spell Law (I've posted about each elsewhere on this forum), which allows for different magical traditions in different areas of Nehwon (my Nehwon gets more magical as you travel further south). Both these systems keep magic power fairly low for players. I use allegiance straight, but I don't award Chaos points for every use of magic, just for Chaotic uses. I've had one PC attain apotheosis for Law and one for Chaos. The Law one I let him reclaim some land from the Quarmall Barrens (equivalent of the Weeping Waste) and the Chaos one swore allegiance to Hecate and is on the way to becoming an NPC sorcerer villain. In a recent campaign I pasted the Gloranthan Zola Fel river down on the southern Lankhmar continent between Klesh and the Quarmall Barrens. It worked out fine except that a couple of RQ3 NPCs became PCs and their magic is relatively overpowered compared to everyone else (doesn't really matter though).

As for published stuff, I have the TSR Lankhmar supplement, all three of the Mongoose books (Lankhmar Unleashed is basically a combination of the first two though the adventures are different) and some Savage Worlds supplements.  I don't think Mongoose released more than that for Lankhmar. I have been running bits of the Mongoose Swords across Nehwon and Swords against Sorcery. Neither are particularly good as a campaign but each has bits which can be cherry-picked. Most of my campaigns have not been in Lankhmar proper but in various parts of Nehwon. The best published adventure for Nehwon I've seen was the AD&D one called, appropriately, Nehwon, by Blake Mobley. It consists of a lot of mini-quests to notable locations in Nehwon. I think it mostly manages to avoid having Sheelba™, Ningauble™, Fafhrd™ and the Gray Mouser™ in every adventure -- an achievement beyond most other Lankhmar adventure writers apparently.

Trivia fact: Lankhmar was going to be published by Chaosium instead of TSR back in the 80s. Fritz Leiber may have (accidentally?) licensed both companies. Greg Stafford didn't want to sue Leiber (or TSR) so he let TSR go for it. Source: Designers and Dragons by Shannon Appelcline, which I've been reading recently. Had Chaosium published it, we might all be playing there. Imagine the love Lankhmar could have got with a supplement like CitiesCarsePavis, or Tulan of the Isles :)

I'm not expecting too much from the DCC project, though I am a backer and will read their material with interest. At least it seems they are taking the licence seriously.

Edited by Questbird
Added ironic trade marks
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