Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lands Beyond Kos (Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting) From Skirmisher Publishing For Your Old School Sword And Sorcery Campaigns

Lands Beyond Kos is the newest entry for the Swords of Kos Fantasy imprint from Skirmisher Publishing and for a fan of sword and sorcery role playing the timing couldn't be better. 
This is closer look at the big bright world beyond the Kos setting books, a sort of 'Ancient World' of mythology seen through a D&D style lens with over arching spins of adventure, fortune, and glory woven together with sword and sandal. Here adventure is always at the ready and your PC's are expected to be thrown into the deep end of legend and mythology itself. 
These are the lands of Hercules and  the heroes of old, erm not quite. See your PC's are the heroes and this book is a setting book of lands,details, all the little bits and pieces your DM is going to need to deal with what's over the horizon of the seas of the world of Kos. 
Grab It Right
This book details the lands and high areas of adventure in Kos. The book does it out in grand style and very easy to read bits and pieces with scattered adventure hooks provided through out but its a book with plenty of room for customization on the DM's part. The nice thing is the lack of system which means a DM can hang this world book right into the backdrop of their own campaign world and favorite system. 
So what's in it? Well according to the description from Drivethrurpg: 
As their adventures take them away from the shores of Kos, characters may increasingly visit other countries throughout the Mediterranean and the lands of Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond — and, the further afield they go, the more unfamiliar the customs and people of these places will be- come. This chapter contains detailed descriptions of 16 nations that characters from Kos might visit in the course of their adventures, or which themselves might be the homelands of some characters. Most of these lands in this extended adventuring area are located in the region of the eastern Mediterranean but a few lie further to the west and three lie somewhat outside the region altogether, along the shores of the Black Sea, in Mesopotamia, and in the European Alps, respectively. Most are at least as much under the control of Humans as of demihumans like Dwarves or humanoids like Hobgoblins.
Make no mistake, this isn't our world but an alternative world of fantasy, with lots of details and back drop for the Kos DM. But this book has a ton to offer a DM who wants to add this world to their sword and sorcery game. With a bit of work this world can easily become another piece of mythological or planar setting material just waiting for your D&D characters to explore. There is place after place just waiting for adventurers to put into port and go adventuring on the deep and dangerous twisting locations of Lands Beyond Kos.
This is a setting with a twist, this world came about by the events of 'The Great Cataclysm'  which sparked off the populations of fantasy races in Kos and makes a good back drop to add into a weird fantasy world backdrop. There's plenty of monsters and mayhem just waiting for a party, there are enough details here to get a DM headed straight into the world and connect it straight into an existing world or transport their adventurers into Kos's setting.
Look the pdf is a good value at only 3.99 for the amount of detail and work that your going to take a away from the setting. This setting is sword, sorcery, and mayhem with a flare for old school adventuring and there's lots to be had.
One last thing Lands Beyond Kos comes with a well done, and highly detailed map of the locals and locations spoken about within the product. For a pdf this is a really nice add on and one that I'm planning on having done out in heavy parchment style paper at a local printer to keep track of an upcoming campaign using this material.
Using The Lands Beyond Kos 
For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaign 
There are several ways to use this setting book, and for me they involve taking the backbone of the book in nations, details, and entries of the campaign setting and adding it to my favorite retroclone say Labyrinth Lord or some retroclone system. This is a readily available system free plug and play world and its a post apocalyptic fantasy world at that. 
The proto mythological world of Kos and its Grecian roots the meat of the product can be plugged into a wide variety of fantasy setting variations from the larger then life legends of the 'Great Heroes', to battling the monsters and titans of sword and sorcery, to dealing with the everyday problems of living against the backdrop of this world. Kos has one other element to it, a very dark and seething underbelly of mythology and legend. There are reasons for this darkness and Kos has it in spades relating back to the 'Great Cataclysm' and the origins of its fantastic elements.
There is a ton to work with here and at its price there is more then enough nations,powers, NPC personas, and more that enough to keep a DM and his players busy for years to come. My recommendation is to grab Lands Beyond Kos and get to designing your own adventures within this expansive setting. There is also a ton of setting material support available for Kos. I highly recommend this book and to get in on the action. 

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