Saturday, July 12, 2014

Observations on Using The Free Basic Fantasy Adventure - JN1 The Chaotic Caves For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System

Grab It Right Over
According to the Basic Fantasy website blurb - 
'This is a very generic adventure setting, consisting of a group of monster-infested caves and an abandoned manor-fort, for beginning player characters.'
This is exactly what makes it so desirable for AS&SH, the customization factor and  back drop, the easy to refit setting, and the fact that its free as well as easy to use.

JN1 The Chaotic Caves is a free download adventure from the folks behind The Basic Fantasy Rpg. I've often used Basic Fantasy to run a few convention games and get into the style of  Moldvay and Cook.
According to Wiki - 
'Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game (BFRPG) is "(a)n old-school roleplaying game in the style of Moldvay and Cook",[1]written by Chris Gonnerman and many other contributors. It is freely available in PDF and OpenDocument formats, along with numerous supplements, from the game's website.[2] BFRPG is stylistically similar to, and largely compatible with, the 1981 Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert sets ("B/X D&D") edited by Tom Moldvay and Zeb Cook respectively. Its differences from B/X D&D include d20-style ascending armor class and separation of character race and class. Gonnerman first announced BFRPG on the website on 20 January 2006, when the rules were at Release 9.[1] BFRPG Release 62, released on 17 February 2007, was marked as the First Edition and made available on the print-on-demand site Lulu.[3] BFRPG Release 75, released on 15 July 2008, was marked as the Second Edition and is currently available from Lulu.[4]
Gonnerman drew on his previously designed RPG, Project 74,[5][6] as well as some descriptive text from the D&D 3.5 SRD and Castles & Crusades, for material to create Basic Fantasy.[1] The game has been positively received.[7][8][9][10] Criticism of BFRPG has focused on its deviations from B/X D&D, particularly in comparison to Labyrinth Lord, another "retro-clone" RPG'
The game has a number of free quality adventures that can be downloaded, gutted, and refitted into go to sword and sorcery style modules for games such as AS&SH. The same thing that has been done with other basic and zero edition games adventures. This one is isn't an exception at all.

About 90% of the adventure has an AS&SH analog that can easily be substituted into the module. This adventure clocks in at forty one pages and has a very old school Along The Black River Conan Howard style to it if played right for a group. 
The text and substance of the module is pretty well done and concise but its monster descriptions and customization factor is dense by comparison.
The maps, locations, and more can easily be made into a very clever introduction into the world of Hyperborea. Seriously this adventure really screams for it. 
There are several places along inside the adventure where Hyperborean events can be slipped into the background such as the ravages of the Green Death and the fighting with the lizard men tribes.  With a bit of clever DMing slight of hand this module is perfect for a complete Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea make over to really get it to shine.
 For a free resource this one isn't bad at all. With a bit of Dm spit and polish this adventure would make a fine little customization project for any number of OD&D style sword and sorcery campaigns. 


  1. Thanks for the kind words! I love to see adventures built by our contributors being enjoyed... and customization is one thing that J.D. Neal's modules are good for.

  2. I do love using Basic Fantasy materials, they're very adaptable and a really nice addition to the OSR. I've got more coming up with Basic Fantasy Chris. Thanks for the comment and more to come! Cheers pal.