Monday, March 15, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary On Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan Campaign Setting By Terje Nordin For The Warriors of the Red Planet Rpg

 "Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan is a campaign setting for use with the Warriors of the Red Planet Roleplaying Game.

New character races: Mutant, Robot, Rogue Formian, Rogue Formiankin, Lizard Folk.

Rules for Psychic Combat and Super-Science Research.

Wyrd Stones, mysterious artefacts that let you manipulate the matrix of Matter, Energy, Time and Space.

18 new creatures including Spectral Walkers and Winged Squid.

Seven strange Alien Godlings.

Campaign map with 100 detailed hexes.

The city state of Yankara.

The Vaults of Illumination, a 22 room starting dungeon."

Its been over a week since Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan crossed the gaming table & now the piper is coming due. This Sword & planet campaign setting crams in forty eight pages what has been seen in other game systems drawn out over two hundred or more pages. The fact that  works with the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg & gives that rpg system an alternative setting to play in. There are so many good things about Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  where to begin?!

Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  evolved straight out of a home campaign morphed into a full on Sword & Planet adventure setting. And it brings the planetary heat straight out by giving us a straight in your face planetary setting out of the gate Xuhlan was the seat of a instellar  empire. But the Fall came hard; "Then came the Cataclysm. There are few facts but many myths and legends regarding the fall of the Primordials. Most accounts are vague and they seldom agree with one another, but many speak of apocalyptic wars, entire star systems being destroyed and a plague of madness forever eclipsing the minds of those few Primordials who survived. Zeenu (or Xanu or Zano depending on which source one consults), Devourer of Stars, glorious Conqueror of the Galaxies, Eternal Hegemon of the Primordials was deposed by his subjects and imprisoned in a black hole (or went into self-imposed exile outside the common space-time continuum, again depending on the source). Mankind, brought to Xuhlan by the Primordials to satisfy some playful whim or other, fought with many other sapients from across the universe for survival in the ruins left behind by their fallen masters. Millennia passed, empires rose, only to degenerate and crumble and come crashing down into barbarism again. Nearly a thousand years ago the surface of Xuhlan was under the hegemony of the Celestial Domain, the greatest human civilisation the planet has ever seen. But as the dynasty of the Aether Lords declined the domain was torn between the competing factions of the Guild of Noetic Engineers and the Ascended Masters of Unspace until the conflict escalated out of control. The human scientists had but learned fragments of the esoteric secrets mastered by the Primordials, but the destructive capacity of their technology was enough to extinguish the majority of human lives on the planet and lay their empire in ruin." 
The players start with several major races right out of the gate Mutant, Robot, Rogue Formian insect antmen, Rogue Formiankin former thralls of the insect men, Lizard Folk. Then mutations & psychic combat which is cleaned up a bit as well as being a real boon to Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . There's superscience research as an add on system to Warriors of the Red Planet & its needed folks. There's really an orginal Dungeons & Dragons feel to Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . Then we've got Wyrd Stones which are essentially 'infinity stones'  of Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan . But these stones are more in keeping with the Pulp magazine Sword & Planet stories that inspired this setting.  The Beastery is one of the best parts of Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  because you get a real nice smattering of additional monsters. And if you're into the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg's weird monsters these are some fantastic creatures. 

The world of Xuhlan is straight up Pulp goodness right from the get go as you get into the hex crawl of the world setting with over a hundred encounters. The cartography is very well done. And this blends right into the city state of Yankara. And there's even a starting adventure right in  Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan called The Vaults of Illumination. Theres 22 rooms & its all set ready to go play! 
Is there any downsides to 
Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan ?! Honestly no in my humble opinion. You've got everything you need to really blow the doors in for an original B/X or original Dungeons & Dragons Sword & Planet campaign. 
Gotta say that in addition to Warriors of the Red Planet Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan would also work as an excellent setting to BX Mars. All of the material in  Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  can easily bolt on to BX Mars so that the players & DM have an additional world setting to play with. 

And this is really one of the strengths of 
Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan. The fact that it can easily be adapted to any number of OSR systems. For example using Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  with Adventurer,Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu allows the DM to bring another instellar planetary setting into their ACK's campaigns. 

And this interstellar planet setting could be easily used as a weird science destination for Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg or as a Carcosa subsetting. 
Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  does takes its ques from planetary romance, Pulps, & Sword & Planet Science Fantasy. The sum here is far greater then the parts as Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan  stands on its own assumptions. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Godbound Session Report - The Jaws of the Leucrottas

 Tonight's Godbound rpg session almost ended earlier then expected. The PC's discovered a major planar wreck or ruin  along the edge of the Arizona border. And almost bought it during tonight's game as they were lured into the ruin by what they assumed was the cries  of child inside the wreckage. 

Spaceship Crash - Digital Matte Painting by Reeves123
The party very carefully went inside only to find a cache of gems, swords, armor, & bones. Before the party could leave a strange planive cry or cough came from outside. And the party's demi god warrior Thesazu The Mighty saw the horrid vista of a mated pair of Leucrottas of incredible size. And the whole place sound weirdly like a fun house of horror. 

The party inside the craft found a crude shrine to  Kostchtchie,Yeenoghu,  a female aspect of Demogorgon! This messed with the players heads because this wasn't the usual Advanced Dungeons & Dragons aspect of the demon lord Demongorgon. This instead was a strange immortal  from Mystara?! And that's when they saw the giant hyenas & their witch riders! 

The party didn't even have time to get a spell off before two massive ice & lighning spells came bursting in on them! Then a brace of gnoll warriors were gated nearby each more scarred & battle hardened then the other. The gnolls & witches were chanting & chanting the name Kostchtchie, over & over again. The party has no wish to meet the demon lord of wraith. 

The players were not amused by this turn of events at all. They had their backs against the wall here & only a word of travel got them out of the situation. They were able to gate out fifty miles from the situation deep into the Arizona desert.  Kostchtchie has had it in for the player's PC's for a couple of years now. 

This began back in 2019 when the players killed a Leucrotta in Nevada that had come through a back alley version of a night road that had opened up within a small town. The party had saved a young woman from the jaws of the monster that was eating through a car door. And then cursed the monster say 'Whomever this horror belongs to we will bring wraith & vengence down upon you!' Tonight the hammer almost came down on the party's collective heads. 
Back in Dragon issue#91 in the 'Ecology of  Leucrottas' by Ed Greenwood we learned that these beings have very close connections to both Yeenoghu &  Kostchtchie

Is there far more going on here then meets the eye. And why is a major demon lord or lords tracking a party of minor godbound across the planes?! The players are both scared & pissed! They've come across the work of this pack or coven of demon worshipers before in the wreckage of small towns across Nevada.. 
With whispers of The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth that they've heard rumors of before in their ears things are heating up again. All in all not a bad game when you've got the player's PC's on the run again. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Review & Commentary On The Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler From James Mishler Games For Labyrinth Lord Or Your Old School Games


James & Jodi Mishler from Mishler Games have created an OSR sorcerer class that dips deeply into the mythology of  classic Dungeons & Dragon style games with their latest Sorcerer Class for  Labyrinth Lord

"The new Sorcerer Class for Labyrinth Lord includes the following:

Class Details, including Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin, and Evoke Magic;
The following Sorcerous Origins, each with their own special abilities:
New spells for the Dragon-Blood and Vampire-Blood sorcerers, adapted from spells included in the Dragonborn Race and Necromancer Class booklets."  The Sorcerer PC  Class is one of those classes you don't think your gonna need as a player or DM but then it hits you. This is a perfect class for an OSR  horror game or even a science fantasy campaign.  

Here the Mishler's do an excellent job of boiling down the PC  sorcerer into its OSR roots & this is both its charm. And its dangers; "
Sorcerers are humans who possess innate magical spell-casting powers due to ancient, inhuman family bloodlines, such as through having an angel, demon, dragon, fairy, genie, vampire, or other magically-powerful creature in their family line." Why do I say dangers?! Because sorcerers have powerful supernatural or occult  parents. Parent can be very protective of their children. 

Mishler's sorcerers go to twentieth level & leave lots of room for the players & DM's to have fun with the class in OSR games. The class has plenty of opportunities to take full advantage of the magic infused nature of the class; "SPELLCASTING: Sorcerers possess the ability to cast magic-user spells, but in a very different way than magic-users gain and cast spells. A sorcerer does not learn spells, scribe them in spell books, and then memorize the spells desired. Instead, a sorcerer innately knows a number of spells equal to her level plus her Charisma bonus. She then use her spell slots to cast the spells she knows in any combination desired, within her combination of known spells and available spell casting slots. For example, at 1st level Tiana the Sorceress (CHA 16, +2) knows three 1st level spells (plus one from her Sorcerous Origin), which she can cast in any combination of two spells per day using her two 1st-level spell-casting slots. At each level, when a sorcerer gains a new spell, she may choose a spell of a spell level that she can cast (including any newly-gained spell level from that character level) from the magic-user spell list. For example, Tiana the Sorceress advances from 3rd to 4th level; she may choose one new spell of 1st or 2 nd level, as she can now cast 2nd level spells." 

The very nature of the sorcerer's magic makes it even more dangerous; "EVOKE MAGIC: Sorcerers do not have any proper training in the use of magic items that are normally limited to use by magic-users, however, their natural affinity with magic allows them to try to use such items that require activation. In order to do so, they must make a saving throw versus Wands (if using a wand) or Spells or Spell-Like Devices (if using any other item other than scrolls) each time they wish to use an item that requires active use. No roll is needed to use passive items that work without activation. To cast a scroll, the sorcerer must make a Charisma-based Spell Learning Probability Check (Intelligence Table II), with a penalty of 5% per level of the spell; even sorcerers who cannot read can try to use scrolls, as they can feel the magic in the scroll and simply evoke it out of the magical writing. However, there is danger in trying to evoke magic out of a magic item or scroll. If the saving throw fails with a Natural 1, or if the sorcerer rolls 96-00 when trying to use a scroll, Something Bad happens, the nature of which is at the whim of the Labyrinth Lord." I can think of at least ten or so uses for this class as the basis for an NPC villain or mid level hench villain with an occult parent whose a complete & utter bastard. 

Mishler shifts from the various Angel-Blood, Demon-Blood, Djinn-Blood, Dragon-Blood,  Efreet-Blood
Fairy-Blood, &  Vampire-Blood. There ar new spells, advantages, explainations, class advances, & all of this fits into about twenty pages. Not bad for a compact little class with tons of D&D potential to say the least. The two stand outs for my money are the Dragon Blood & the Vampire Blood who have some real potential as possible NPC  royals or henchmen for thier parents. Taking the material has been ported over into these sorcerers with spells like this; "Dragon Claw & Fang Level: 1 st level Dragon-Blood Sorcerer Duration: 1 turn per level Range: Self The sorcerer transforms her hands into dragon claws sharp as daggers, and her head into that of a dragon, complete with sharp fangs. The sorcerer may attack each round with a claw/claw/bite routine, dealing the following damage: 1st to 3 rd level 1d4/1d4/2d4, 4th to 6th level 1d4+1/1d4+1/2d6, 7th to 9th level 1d6/1d6/2d8, 10th to 12th level 1d6+1/1d6+1/2d10, 13th to 15th level 1d8/1d8/3d8, and 16th level and above 2d4/2d4/3d10. Attacks made with the claw and bite attacks are rolled on the Monster Attack Table rather than on the Magic-user Attack Table. The sorcerer can cast spells normally while her hands are claws, but other more detailed work might be troublesome." 
All in all you get the essence of the sorcerer with all of the backwash of the classes origin. In no way are the Mishler's work being desparaged here. This is a great PC class with some solid bones to it! 

So where can the Sorcerer class be used in old school or OSR games or settings?! The obvious answer is within Adventurer, Conqueror, King's  Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. Half  dragons check & Science Fantasy check along with Sword & Sorcery. This is a perfect class to slide in the ACK's backdoor. Then there's Castles & Crusades which this class fits right into epecially given the number of elemental or potential god like cosmic powers we've got lurking in the background of Castles & Crusades. Yes I'm talking about the Adventurer's Backpack book here as the basis for a sorcerer to work along side the classes introduced within that book. 

Could the sorcerer class be used with say Lamentations of the Flame Princess!? Yes but it would require a bit of adjustment or would it?! Say using the basics of the sorcerer with some of the spells from Lamentations might be fun.. The sorcerer could be a very dangerous & unknown quatity as an NPC or as a PC. Sorcerer Class for  Labyrinth Lord is well done & serves its niche within old school or even OSR games quite nicely. A very useful class in my humble opinion. 

 The Sorcerer Class for  Labyrinth Lord is 
Available Right Here. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Class Matters - The Slayer player character class From Mayfair Games Demon Box set Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st & 2nd edition or Your OSR game Campaigns

 "FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH AD&D 2ND EDITION. Eons ago...they were imprisoned in a vast inferno for fomenting a conflict amidst the gods themselves. Now, they're loose and free to prey upon the will of man. Run out of challenges? Try matching wits with the embodiment of all evil. The Demons sourcepack includes: * 48 pages of hole-punched monster descriptions, covering the demons and the inhabitants of their inferno lairs, for your players to add to other game materials; * An 80-page game master's booklet; * The 64-page Infernicum Mallemancia, an ancient book of demon lore that provides your players with all the clues they need to tackle and defeat their diabolical adversaries; * New character classes, including the demon-summoning Thaumaturgist and the demon-hunting Slayer; * Rules for half-demon player characters; * Dozens of new spells and new magic items; * A Full color, 22 "x 34" map; * A complete adventure; and the most powerful spells in fantasy role-playing!"

Things have been very busy with a full on Hostile & Cepheus Engine rpg campaign ongoing on the other blog. But there's a great deal of player pressure to get back on the Dungeons & Dragons  or Advabced Dungeons & Dragons train. So last night out came the Demon box set binder. Started looking into the possibility of using The Demons I & II  box set as a sort of backbone with several of our on going campaigns. The demon slayer class is an old favorite of ours & it fits very well with what's an on going series of campaigns where demons play a sigificant part. 

So there are several reasons why the slayer class works in a number of areas when it comes to demon hunting, slaying, & banishing demons. The slayer is a  fighter subclass. The slayer uses the same skill progression as a paladin & has the same saving throws used by clerics. 
 They can work as a wandering bounty hunter of demons working the land for their ever going hunt against the Infernal. The fact is that slayers have to be very wary of the infernal or demonic taint that comes with dealing with the powers. And this leads into the lawful alignment aspect of the slayers. They can only be one of the three branches of slayers, white slayers who are lawful good, grey slayers  lawful neutral, or black slayers lawful evil. They will work together against any demonic or infernal threat. So this isn't a case of a Sith vs Jedi war or issue unless the DM needs there to be such a war. 

Slayers gain several abilities that help them in their struggle against the infernal; Detect demon within 12", Turn demon as if they were a cleric three levels higher then their own has no effect on other undead ( let this slide in several games), & they can cast wizard spells from a list within the demon box set that helps them in their battles. 
From all appearances these fighter subclasses are a wandering slayer of demons or the infernal. Slayers  have very little interaction with the infernal or the divine & those that do Fall. They lose all abilities if they have truck with the powers of chaos & the demonic. 
How do slayers work as a class for old school Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or in OSR games?! Well that's pretty simple actually. The slayer class is good for those players who want to do a rotating guest spot within your home campaigns. The guy or gal who wants to play once in a while for a Gothic or even a modern style of horror game. For OSRIC the slayer class could be used with impunity at the table top. With a game such as Castles & Crusades?! The slayer is going to require a bit of fiddling but its a pretty easy bit of kit to fit them into the mix of a C&C campaign. 

Slayers are the PC class that shows up like Jedi knights or Boba Fett in a campaign when that half demonic wizard shows up on his nightmare. The slayer has been tracking him or her for ages & now he or she has shown up in your game. 

Slayers should never be used with matters of the gods unless minions or  demon lords or ladies show up. They will not be impressed by the gods or by infernal or demonic royalty. Slayers want one thing the slaughter of the demonic full stop. From time to time I've used slayers as villains within games as well even the lawful evil ones intentions or goals are 'good' in a sense. The brutal methods they employ however are nasty & dangerous to the lives of PC's around them. 
Slayers at the table top level are a polizerizing force we've found. There are some players who love the 'lone wolf' aspect of the fighter subclass. And there are those players  who hate the class with a vengence. The slayer is a very polerizing figure at the table top. 
Slayers are never going to get their due at the table top level but paired with a paladin of equal alignment. These can be very nasty combinations indeed. The lone wolf nature of the slayer means that eventually in our experience that they will leave a paladin behind. 
Its too bad that given the storied legal history of Role Aids line we'll never get a slayer PC supplement. There is far more that can be done with this fighter sub class then merely as an NPC murder weapon or plot device. 
The slayer class represents a very in niche within a niche PC class but its one that can be used to great advantage with a clever player & DM. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

1d6 Random Sword & Sorcery Mystical Treasures Table

Treasures fall through the cracks of history & the wily hands of adventurers. The hoard of the dragon gives way to the the leer of kings, taxmen, & even the occasional executioner. Most likely these treasures find their way back onto the pile of another monster. Violence attracts violence & its this blood that calls to the lure of gold & objects of power. 

1d6 Random Sword & Sorcery Mystical Treasures Table 

  1. The chain of destiny - This golden chain worth about three hundred gold pieces has been woven of the finest dreams of kings, madmen, & lawyers. The chain is strange & seems to move of its own accord when no one is looking at it. The chain can be used to link the lives of two people together & is often used by royal match makers to match the royals of certain human, demonic, & infernal courts together. The chain was last seen in possession of an albino adventurer of indeterminate lineage. There is a dragon wizard that wants this chain back. 
  2. The fingers of Ibis - These twelve golden fingers have always been a set after they were cut from the hand of the devil king at the end of time. The fingers each have 2 powers determined by the artifact tables in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide. The fingers have a life of their own though moving from person to adventurer and so forth. They seem to want to return to their master but being worth 400 gold pieces for the lot there is speculation that they have an agenda all of their own. A Martian wizard is willing to pay quite the top dollar for them. 
  3. The Coins of the Khan - These 500 golden coins once belonged to the Great Khan who liberated them from a sacrificial pit of Cthulhu himself. The coins each have their own small power and are worth 1000 gold. The reason is their primary power, the coins as a whole can buy passage into the spirit realms. They will allow one person to escape from the 'realm of the dead' and reenter the physical realm alive. But the coins themselves are then consumed in a thunder clap. They were last seen in the possession of a small dwarf from the village of In who gave them up to resurrect his late wife. She lives to this day but the coins have passed from person to person. The last owner was a black dragon who lives at the edge of the Dismal swamp. 
  4. The Babe in Waiting - This small gold & wax statue is so life like that many have sworn its real! That's because it is in a way. The Babe is used to heal a sick child or mother as it takes on the illness or malady of the target. The Babe is priceless but is the subject of a plane wide manhunt! The thing was last seen in the possession a group of heretics in the Ul mountains after a massive slaughter by someone known as the woman slayer. The Babe is also said to possess the gift or curse of prophecy. Each new moon it will speak a prophetic poem with flowery symbolism. This poem will reflect the current events in the owners lives. 
  5. The golden thimble of Qu - This golden thimble will fit the finger of a powerful man & it can be used with several specially prepared bone needles. The thread used with the golden thimble is specially prepared powered bone thread. The thimble allows the owner to sew tightly the soul into the body of the owner. This gives the owner a bit of the immortality of the undead. They will only age every ten years & they become immune to some mind affecting spells. But food will taste like ash & the owner of the thimble can undo the effects of the operation or ritual. The golden thimble may also be used to poke a small hole in the arguments, policies, or discussions of royals & politicians. The target is at a -3 on all Charisma based actions. The golden thimble while priceless is worth about 400 gold pieces because it appears to be something else but to its right owner it will appear as it truly is. 
  6. The Crown of the Hole - This ivory & golden crown allows the owner to gaze at the true intentions of the target. The target's reality is as it really is. The target must save vs wands or share in the insight of the Crown of the Hole. The hole itself is the inside of crown and acts as a portable hole but its a 'strange hole'. That is to say that should the crown cover the head of the person the whole head seems to go invisible except for two burning eyes that float in the air. These eyes act as crystal balls but can act independently of each other. The owner can eat, breath, & even feel inside the 'strange hole', but should the eyes become separated from the owner for more then 25 hours they may gain a life of their own. The owner will go temporarily insane from the constant feed back sensory loop. There is a headless arch wizard who is offering a reward for the crown of the hole. 

There is a forty percent chance of a dangerous named & unique marilith with here family of type I & II demons guarding these treasures as a part of demon royal of chaos's hoard. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Review & Commentary On M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne Rules By TSR From M.A.R Barker's World of Tekumel

"A rich, complex world and a complete set of rules, Empire of the Petal Throne includes rules for character generation, magic, monsters, adventuring, societies and languages. It is set in the 2,354th Year “After the Seal” – the accession of the first Emperor of Tsolyánu, just before the events chronicled in Man of Gold, the first of several novels written by Prof. Barker. Included with the rules is a four page set of charts and tables, errata for the original game, a map of the City of Jakalla, a b&w map of the Five Empires, and a citizenship document for Tsolyanu, the Empire of the Petal Throne!"

Technically speaking Empire of the Petal Throne by M.A.R. Barker is a current game in print due to the machinations of the Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne Foundation. The set of rules that I'm going to be talking about today is the original Dungeons & Dragons Style rules set. If you wanna use Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne setting elements in your favorite rpg table top rules set then 
The Tekumel Sourcebook - Swords & Glory Vol. 1 for the classic material is the route to go. 

The world of the five empires is a complex cultural painting completely different from the high fantasy worlds of Dungeons & Dragons. Tékumel  is a setting created from within the fertile imagination of MAR Barker. Its vastly different from the original Dungeons & Dragons settings of Greyhawk & Blackmoor. How this is a quasi Middle Eastern, Indian, Mayan settings &  locations with ancient science fantasy overtones. The whole setting makes it clear that at any moment your player's PC's could be sacrificed, murdered, etc. in terrifying different realms of dungeons & ruins. Even though this game uses the familiar character generation, classes, etc. as original Dungeons & Dragons, EMP is vastly different because of its language, principles, & don't get me started on the cultures  of the game.  M.A.R. Barker was a brilliant weaver of tales, creator of setting, & definer of his world. Those who get invested are in for a ride.
For original Dungeons & Dragons players & DM's the trade cities provide a fertile place where you can plunk down your player's PCs. Adventuring means citizenship with lots of minor advantages. Within moments of plunking down in town PC's might wander into trouble or vast ruins that make the Undermount look like a pile of rubble. EMP is a mix of urban & dungeon crawl with lots of monsters not seen by the average Dungeons & Dragons players. They will learn to fear the smell of cinnamon there are vast numbers of alien races, weird creatures, robotic lifeforms & other strangeness left over in the depths of the underworld. Their waiting to say hi & murder your  adventurers.
The Empire of  The Petal Throne Rpg review on Drivethrurpg by 
Brit B. brings up a very important point with reference to the monsters;"Simple but striking black & white illustrations are frequent, which is good since I’m pretty sure you don’t know what a Pé Chói is, but you will soon. Each monster has about a paragraph of description for inspiration and a basic stat block. There’s a hex map of the main country along with ungridded maps of the main city, Jakálla, and the five empires to get you started. It is old school in my favorite sense, they give you the basics and let you run with it."
Its the sense of flavor that melts like candied Middle Eastern wax of imagination from the annals of Empire of the Petal Throne. 
 Jakálla has such setting flavor for me as a trade city that it reeks of spices, intrigue, incense, & adventure oozing through the cracks of its flag stones. Sorcerers & priests around every corner with their own sinister agendas. 
A word on combat, this is a 1975 game & the combat is a lethal affair with players expecting a high mortality rate. The game is more tool kit then actual whole cloth game that modern gamers might not be used to. Expect to die in unexpected & sinister ways of mayhem with monsters & NPC 's involved. 
Everything you need is contained within this book, so get those character sheets ready!  Jakálla or one of the many other trade cities await your PC's!  Do I think that Empire of the Petal Throne is fantastic? Yes I do but this is the rules set that I grew up with & so there's a bit of nostalgia on my part. Is it perfect? Not by a long chalk folks but for me & many others its a fantastic entry & exit point for the world, setting, & game of the Petal Throne. 

So why haven't I reviewed Jeff Dee's 
Bethorm: the Plane of Tekumel RPG from Uni games? Well that's a separate review completely coming up. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Campaign Thoughts With Original Dungeons & Dragons, Adventurer, Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu, & A Side of Cha'alt

So I've been going through an  original Dungeons & Dragons recon to connect with my roots. I'm taking a vacation from the original Swords & Stitchery blog. Because while I've got lots to say my attitudes lately about the sales & marketing of the OSR have left me very jaded. Rereading OD&D has led me back to my love for M.A.R. Barker's  Empire of the Petal Throne. Empire of the Petal Throne's background leaves a lot of room to play around.  I'm sticking with the original Nineteen Seventy Five rules for EPT because these are the rule set that I cut my teeth on. They differ a bit from Original Dungeons & Dragons but not by much. The rules can be used to drop a party of OD&D adventurers onto one of the trade cities scattered across Tekumel surface.

"Tekumel, the world of fantasy and adventure. The setting for this fantasy campaign game is an alien planet, Tekumel, where a cosmic cataclysm stranded human and extra-territorial invaders eons past. A hostile world of poisonous flora and fauna, with intelligent and vengeful native races! Mankind and its allies must battle for survival with nothing save Medieval technology — but magic aids them . . . and there are certain supernatural powers which may intervene.
The game contains three large full-color maps and 8 1/4" x 11" book with a brief history of Tekumel, rules, descriptions of various races and creatures involved, and more. Share in this exciting fantasy world by playing EMPIRE OF THE PETAL THRONE."
1975 ... TSR 1005 "
Taken from Wayne's Books section on Empire of the Petal Throne 

Now I've been involved with short run ninety day campaigns over the last five years or so due to the demands of work. This means an actual beginning, middle, & end of campaign regardless of the outcome. Over last couple of years since 2016 I've been quietly involved with the Godbound rpg. It works best with original Dungeons & Dragons I've found. But it also works well with M.A.R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne game from TSR. The good news is that I've got a ton of material sitting in notebooks for this..
When I started in on this one of the resources that I originally didn't have were Cha'alt by Venger Satanis nor Adventurer, Conqueror, King's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu. 

What I'm going to be doing is attacking this campaign from a totally different avenue. I'm going to be using some of the original time line from Empire of the Petal Throne. So we'll see if the players notice this turn of events as things start getting weirder.