Thursday, January 30, 2014

1d10 Random Weird & Ancient Tombs and Contents Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System

File:Ancient Tomb with Obelisks Surrounded by Sepucral Urns LACMA AC1995.54.1.4.jpg
1d10 Random Weird & Ancient Tombs and Contents Table 
  1. This ancient and weathered necropolis stands definitely against the elements for hundreds and hundreds of years now. Upon certain nights of the year the great wrought brass door stands slightly a jar and from within a howling and growling of great beasts can be heard. The tombs occupants have long ago have been sucked into the nameless darkness between stars of damnation. The tomb's doorway opens into the void between the planes and on certain days of the year lean and thirsty demon hounds come for the souls of foolish adventurers. They come to drag back to the depth of those nameless hells anything they can catch. The bones of those they eat and strip of any metals are left behind. Their souls become playthings and sweet meats for these demon hounds. 
  2. This ornate tomb has been reared to a disgraced princess of forgotten MU. Her soul and body lay trapped within the tomb but she has recently been freed by some foolish adventurer and now prowls the night as a vampire. Her sister has become a lamia and now guards the tomb by day feasting on local children. They are contemplating taking over a village and have begun a cult. Every Spring offerings have started to appear. During the fall months both horrors sleep. There is a stone box near the tomb that holds what treasures they have gathered to help pay for a mercenary army in the Summer months. 
  3. This tomb is the home to the ghost of a wizard sealed within by his father lest his son's power allow the monster to escape. A bricked  door covered with inscriptions of binding holds the fiend in place. His ghost howls its anger and frustration but only at the new moon can the ghost haunt the land. It kills anyone it finds around the moors of the area during those times. An unrusting +2 sword has been driven through the entrance above the door. The sword's magic keeps the damned soul from both escape and final reward. The pain of the sword keeps the ghost from reason and intelligence as well. The ghost bides its time trying to watch the world and learn of the changes that time has wrought. Its knowledge is spotty and insane at best. 
  4. This weirdly wrought tomb is a mass of bio sculpted flesh of a demonic monster enchanted never to decay or move. It's undying Yithian occupant sits guarding the entrance to a massive underground mega dungeon Great Race outpost sits and waiting for new tenants who shall never come. The occupant is held in a near death and unliving state by Great Race super science. His abilities are still useable and he is very dangerous. There are thousands of volumes of forbidden knowledge of the race's experiments of time, space, and magic here. They are just waiting and the occupant is getting bored with eternity. 
  5. This tomb is the current headquarters of a cult of necromancers who have gathered hundred of necomatic items of forbidden magic. There is a fully functioning laboratory here as well. There are always 1d8 free willed zombies guarding the place armed with Atlantian radium weapons. The tomb was the burial place of a great king but the cult has moved his corpse and treasure to another location. Ever three months 130 cultists gather here. A lich heads this cult but he is seldom present. There is a 20% chance he will be in attendance when the cult gathers. 
  6. This tomb is the resting place of a Deep One of Royal blood killed, exiled, and entombed on dry land where she may do no harm to own kind. She is buried with a treasure but she still lives on in an undeath state. She is chained within her coffin with enchanted chains. 1d8 Deep One zombies guard her and bring her victims occasionally to feed on tearing bits and pieces for her meals. There is a 40% chance of a major technological artifact entombed here as well for safe keeping by a Deep One wizard of renown. 
  7. This is the tomb of a barbarian king curse by his own people to a living hell upon Earth. His ghost is chained between this life and undeath. The thing wanders the land looking for victims to slay with a great ax. Upon certain nights when the alignment of the stars is right. Death births come to feast on this decaying flesh. They may 20% tell his story and grant a prophecy. Or they may curse the fool who disturbs them in their hellish duties. 
  8. This weird tomb of brass and iron holds the decaying body of a demon within. His body burns upon Earth while his spirit has been sealed inside a stoppered bottle nearby the white hot coffin. All of this was done by a wizard thousands of years ago. Anyone disturbing the bottle will be burnt by cold hell fire for 1d6 points of damage. Upon a pedestal near the coffin is a book which contains all of the demon's prophecies. The book magically inscribes them as the damned soul writhes in agony. There is a 70% chance of a secret or bit of forbidden knowledge that a PC needs is writ within the book. The book will magically return to the tomb if taken. 
  9. This tomb is the resting place of a infamous bandit king who still uses the place as a hide out. His flesh is long decayed but he commands twenty 2nd level fighters who attend him as a saint of Rell. He is a free willed zombie and owns a brass Atlantian energy weapons that does 1d6 points of damage. He has a small personal treasure and is in love with a young nearby noble woman. She has no idea of the horror that has begun to stalk her. Eventually the monster will kill her as he has others throughout the centuries. They're corpses surround his coffin staring into eternity. 
  10. This is the resting place of a Star Spawn of Cthulhu. A tomb has been built over it and within rests a 6th level priest who corpse still serves the horror even in death. There are ancient Atlantian machines that keep the thing in a state of sleep as its energies continue to be used by the local cult to try and contact the thing's master. They gather every autumn for a celebration. The priest's soul haunts the lands surround the tomb. Children in the area have begun to be born with the mark.  Anyone disturbing the ancient machinery will be shocked and burned for 1d8 points of damage. Their soul will be eaten by the Spawn in agony! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Atlantian Royal Harpies A New Monster For The Astonishing Swordsmen And Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System


No Encountered: 1(1d4)
Alignment : Chaotic Evil 
Size: M 
Movement:20 (fly 60) 
Dexterity: 14 
Armor Class: 7 
Hit Dice : 7 
No Attacks: 3 (Claw/Claw/ Bite)
Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d8 
Saving Throw: 13 
Morale: 9 
Experience Points : 195 
Treasure : C,S 
"When the moon is full death flies on swift wings and hunts the souls of the innocent"
Vagtag The Sage

When the Green Death over took the world certain minor houses of Atlantis tried to save themselves and used many abominable rites to save their souls. Some bargained away their very ties to the world itself and reality. These poor souls became cursed by the gods themselves and became mockeries of their former selves. Never to live again and never to die. They are monsters caught between damnation, life, and the underworld.
 Atlantian Royal Harpies are larger more aggressive immortal monsters who feed on the flesh and misery of victims. They are immortal creatures caught in a cursed existence never to die nor live. They have become twisted horrors hovering on the edge of existence and in the lonely places of Hyperborea.  They are third and forth level wizards who retain the magical ties to their former royal aspects. But these creatures are twisted insane versions of themselves cursed to wander across the face of the world never to know peace. They bring with them carrion, disease, and damnation in equal measure.
 They perform foul rites under the stars with their victims birthing incredible horrors such as weird and cursed mutant children. These things worship ancient and forgotten Atlantian deities that no living man knows upon Hyperborea.
 Anyone attacked by them has a 60% chance of contracting a horrid disease unless a save vs death is made. These monsters often carry these unearthly magical plagues in their blood and saliva. Foul energies course through them both sustaining them and energizing these monsters.These energies act as incubators for many unearthly germs and plagues. They gain a +2 bonuses to sorcery saves because of these energies.
 Should they be killed, they will raise up once again as their souls ascend from the blackness between Borea winds  to hunt and curse the living with the next new moon.
 They often collect treasures and mementos from their victims as well as caches of hidden Atlantian technology, relics, and ancient items.
Each full moon these horrors are compelled to hunt for the souls of the innocent and must swallow a soul before the moon sets. Failure to do so causes them physical pain and wracking cramps though it does no physical damage. The pain is a reminder of their cursed state.
Harpies will not tolerate their presence within their territory and drive these horrors from their areas by violence and force. A gathering of ten or more harpies on a raiding party is a sure sign that an  Atlantian Royal Harpy is in the area.
 These horrors hate adventurers with a passion for such individuals represent potential that is denied to these horrors. They are damned and cursed and they are well aware of this every waking moment of their haunted lives.
There are legends of these foul horrors ruling over former areas of occupation in ancient times, villages, and hidden valleys of ancient Atlantian enclaves. These are only legends for what man would have such things as rulers. Better to be damned to the darkest hells then be ruled by these horrors. They speak Atlantian,Keltic, Common, and the Black Tongue of Mu. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1d10 Random Eldritch Statues Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea System

File:Ancient statues dating back to 9th century and even earlier....JPG

1d10 Random Eldritch Statue Table

  1. This ancient Atlantian statue is one of the lost gods whose no longer worshiped and now long forgotten.The thing now waits and anyone dwelling near it will feel weak and a bit faint. The thing will do 1d4 points of damage per round as its malice and hate washes over the target. The thing accepts sacrifices from the nearby village of cavemen. The thing will soak up any flesh or blood offered to it. Once every new moon it will give a prophecy to a magically sensitive person. 
  2. This ruined statue is actually a trapped god, one of Old Earth locked, frozen in time and space. This poor soul is quite insane and dangerous. Every new moon the statue will release its soul in the form of a dire wolf and take souls as it will! There is an ancient treasure locked in a stone box at the base of the thing. No local will go near the stone horror. 
  3. This ancient statue of Cthulhu is missing its head and sits by a body of fetid water. The thing now has a mass of stone tendrils in its head's place. It will come to life to take a sacrifice should an accident take place near it. It will level drain any wizards that it happens upon. There are 1d8 minor relics under it. The thing has a hate for all magicians. 
  4. This blood stained  statue of a giant saber toothed  cat  stands and is the center of a cult of cat worshipers. They are a group of 1d10 2nd level thieves who attack any nearby travelers offering up their bodies and treasures to their twisted pagan god. A group of bounty hunters is hunting for them but they vanish every thirty days after they take a group of victims. There is now a missing shipment of minor gold trinkets. 
  5. This ever burning statue is actually the center of an ancient family curse. The thing will burn for eternity and its flame came consume magic items immune to flame. Its history is shrouded in blood and mystery. It constantly hungers for flesh and anyone approaching it will be burned for 1d6 points of magical fire damage. Every new moon it will produce a minor trinket of fire resistance for the price of a minor limb. 
  6. This statue is draped with incredibly intricate tapestries that depict the past, the present and alternative futures of the local area. The thing is actually a living giant undead creature (a giant zombie) that uses the tapestries to locate prey and stalk the living. Many different legends surround the thing. All of them do not account for its movements every three weeks however. A minor cult of followers sacrifices the occasional drunk or adventurer that they can capture. 
  7. This statue of a giant gargoyle is the frozen remains of a monster from a lost dimension. The thing will react if a thief approaches it. The thing can sense the darkness in one's soul. It will react with 1d10 tendrils that do 1d4 points of damage. It will suck the blood, intestines, and fluids of anyone caught by it. There are 1d4 minor scrolls of offering to it. 1d100 coins are scattered about its base. 
  8. This statue is made from hundreds and hundreds of fused metal bones. The thing is actually an ancient Atlantian computer that calculates the alignments of alien stars, every 1d6 months, it will curse anyone present in its company. The thing reacts to relics of the Great Race of Yith by shooting a ray to the owner for 1d4 points of flesh melting damage! 
  9. This ancient statue of Cthulhu sits and sends out millions of nightmares that will drive anyone who sleeps nearby insane unless the appropriate saves are made. The thing tracks the movements of its master through Hyperborea and beyond. 
  10. This statue is made of trillions of fused Atlantian coins, each one for the doomed souls of Atlantis. The thing's coins are cursed, anyone who handles one of these coins will take the place of the doomed. They will possess the bodies of anyone they can and seek out a nearby ancient ancestor worshiping cult of fanatics. These cultists seek to raise ancient Atlantis by any means necessary and seek to add the power of millions of souls across a thousand lifetimes. They will not stop and simply wait for another life time!

Review And On Commentary On The FREE OSR PDF: Underworld Lore #3 (Hyborian Special) By Gorgon Milk and Co.For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaign

Get It Right Over

Gorgon Milk and the gang has released another issue of  Underworld Lore! By Crom this is a great issue! The OSR material is very much in the Sword and Sorcery vein, there are more articles than you can shake a sword at.
The material is very well done and could be ported into any Cimmerian style sword and sorcery game!
The general vibe here is one of really getting into the spirit of the material. Its well done, very well edited and best of all ~ Free.
What you get is an action packed tour of a barbarian themed magazine that's perfect for dressing a dungeon, hex, or entire campaign in a sword and sorcery vibe.
This is hard core DYI style random tables, a preview of the Little Gods version of Crom. And a whole lot more packed into this little gem.
Download this one and go to town with it. I can't imagine not getting this into the mode of Conan style gaming. 
Any of this material would fit in very nicely into a Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea game as well. There is a ton to use here and abuse your players with. Seriously a very well done issue. It's too bad that this is only one issue. It would make a hell of an introduction into a supplement for Cimmeria or a generic Sword and Sorcery OSR setting. 
Much of the material here is pretty generic and highly adaptable to any number of Sword and Sorcery settings. There's a lot of mileage to be had here. Given the man hours that went into this its easy to see that Underworld Lore is a labor of love for its writers and friends.
Gorgon Milk and co. really did a nice job with this one and for Sword and Sorcery gaming take an exalt for this one. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

'Eldritch Empires' From Roebeast's Magical House of Sun Shine Blog - Lovecraftian '15 MM Mini Madness'

So I'm lurking around the internet tonight touring various blogs and stumbled upon a wonderful little old school minis blog called 'Roe Beast's Magical House of Sunshine'. Awesome name and whilst looking around I happened to stumble upon Eldrith Empires! A wargame about the true nature of planet Earth from the Lovecraftian epoch!
Blog available right over
According to Roebeast's blog:
"Here are the first miniatures for my upcoming tabletop wargame Eldritch Empires. This game will focus on great battles that take place in the early history of the planet we now call Earth. Throughout the stories of H.P. Lovecraft he describes conflicts between many of the major races that colonized earth. Since it is highly likely that The Elder Things were the first creatures on Earth and created all of its native life I decided to start with them."In the world of Eldritch Empires these creatures would certainly not call themselves "Elder Things". Instead they prefer a simpler and more elegant title. Among themselves they are simply called Makers."

Following this first release will be Maker Troopers with Orgone Blasters, Heavy Weapons Teams, and The Sensei, who are masters of bladed weapons. The Maker army will focus on  technical prowess, intelligent tactics, and the Maker's legendary toughness."
Roe Beast Has also done  The Great Race of Yith as well!  

Makers vs The Great Race!

 Did I mention the Deep Ones in 15 MM?

Or should I say Dagon?  This guy is available right now.
These guys are perfect for a Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea! Roebeast does an outstanding job with the Makers and Yithians. Looking into some of the other '15 MM' on the market. Magistar Militum makes a line of 15mm Figures for the Biblical & Chariot era that might be perfect for a party of adventurers. Those are available right over HERE
 '15 MM' just might be the ticket to take my Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg campaigns to the next level.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

1d10 Random Items From Among The Ship Wreck Table For The Astonishing Swords Men And Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System

File:Wreck of the American Ship General Grant.jpg

 1d10 Random Encounters From Among The Ship Wreck Table

  1. An ancient Atlantian princess dead, around her neck is a wrought iron key upon a chain. She wears the finery of a by gone era. She has 1d8 pieces of jewelry. Her neck has a strange set of gills. There is ancient dagger piercing her side. A strange tattoo covers her right hand in which she clutches something. 
  2. A trunk of  some kind with astrological symbols hastily painted all over the thing. It floats in the tides but something heavy rattles from within. Something heavy and perhaps alive as there is a sudden movement from within the thing. There is a forty percent chance of some ancient artifact within the thing! 
  3. A small boy of alien origin washes along in the tide. He has copper colored skin with an odd cast to his skin. The rags he wears don't correspond to any known culture upon Hyperborea. At his side is a belt that appears to be a leather style material and at his side is a knife of a steel and copper coloured material. An odd compass is in the handle with directions that are both mysterious and unknown. He is still alive. 
  4. The corpse of some bloated and monstrous fish like thing washes among the waves. There are over a dozen enchanted and broken spears piercing it. There is a forty percent chance that one or more of them may be able to be recovered but the thing's blood is slightly acidic doing 1d4 points to anyone handling the monster's remains. 
  5. A living mermaid swims among the bodies of the corpses of sailors. She eats their flesh while collecting odds and ends from the corpses. The thing is actually a form of Deep One and is a form of royal Deep One an evil Siren Queen. She is a third level wizard and armed with an enchanted short sword. There is a 40% chance of the fiend having a magical treasure upon her person. She may call 1d6 Deep Ones to her at any time. She is evil, quite insane by human standards, and will kill anyone who gets in her way. 
  6. The bound, chained, and trapped form of a humanoid wrapped in a cloak. The thing is a were shark bound in silver edged chains. He has been cursed in a bizarre rite of destruction by priests of Mu. Releasing him will cause the monster to go berserk and attack anyone around him in a blood lust filled attack of fin and fury. 
  7. An ancient trunk of iron wood floats along in the tide. The thing contains the mummified remains of three humanoid undead. They will attack as wights and devour any living thing they come across. The interior of the trunk has been lined with gold leaf and protective spells. The trunk is worth 100 gold pieces to the right wizard. They have four gold pieces sewn into their mouths as part of the creation process. 
  8. A clear vessel of cut crystal floats along on the currents. Inside are a bound and very pissed off shoggoth. The thing will attack the first fool to open the vessel. It will mutilate the corpse of whomever opens the vessel eating the eyes and sex organs  of the victim. It will leave the corpse as a warning to others. 
  9. A giant raft of alien living flesh floats along the tide. A great piece of an Outer God lost to the seas of Hyperborea. This thing has a 60% chance of carrying a plague and it must be burned before it makes land fall. 
  10. The painted corpse of a bride of a funeral rite. This corpse is actually a lich created for an Atlantian rite of burial at sea by burning. This thing has survived and made landfall. This fourth level wizard/priestess is very pissed off at the living and will seek to destroy anyone she comes across. She must be put down for the good of the world. She wishes to cross over into the afterlife but the rites of her homeland keep her anchored to her decayed and withered half life of undeath. Half of her soul has passed on and the other half cleaves to unlife. 10% chance of having minor magical treasures 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

1d10 Random Table of Broken and Cursed Weapons For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg

File:Musee-de-lArmee-IMG 1091.jpg
1d10 Random Table of  Broken and Cursed Weapons
  1. Threau - Only the hilt of this broken sword remains and while it still counts as a +1 dagger. The blade laments its days of war, blood, and thunder. The spirit of the blade has been twisted by its time rusting, useless, and waiting for a new owner. The blade's spirit is insane and will cut the first person to pick it up grievously and deeply for an additional +2 points of damage. It still remembers where many of its previous owner's plunder and loot is buried however. 
  2. Frewu The Cutter - This blade belonged to a master thief and his spirit still resides in the blade. The master sneak and taker of treasures has been locked within the iron molecules for so long he will wish the most trivial things when some one picks up this corroded instrument. His skill and guile will still be sharp but his ghost hovers around the blade. It waits for some fool to pick it up and wield it. He may possess them slowly grabbing ahold of their soul and spirit. His Chaotic evil infecting them over 1d6 days or even months. They will lust for coin, jewel, and flesh as he did. 
  3. The Serrtiuri  - This broken and corroded instrument is a far cry from the long sword it once was but the many kills of this weapon still reside within its its Atlantian steel. The blade will turn the fool who picks it up into a berserk and they shall be a creature of darkness. The blade will make the user perform a rite of  bridging of spirit. The evil of this blade will transfer into a new vessel  and the owner will be bound to this blade for eternity another victim of its evil. 
  4. Yrrutru - This iron mace is still solid but its owner has long turned to dust. The owner will hear the insane echoes of its clerical master within their head. His years of  being bound to this hunk of iron having twisted his mind into a far less forgive monster. Those who use the thing will be turned into a wight as the darkness and negative energy course through the fool who uses this relic after 1d10 months. +2 mace when cleaned up but cursed with foulness. 
  5. That Which Has No Name - This war hammer was once owned by a minor demon of an ancient linage and it still drips with his dark drool. Anyone handling the thing must save vs poison or be effected by a will stealing poison. Their mind will echo with the battles of the past and they will carry out ancient acts of evil and mayhem to any around them. Eventually the fool who owns this war hammer will turn into a proto demon and become scaled, dark, and monstrous. He will flee from the sight of his fellow man and go off with his brother demons. 
  6. Puntreru The Wandering Quill - This broken reed is actually all that remains of the skilled assassin Puntreru. He traveled in the guise of a monk, poet, and artist. The quill was enchanted to drip with horrid poisonous ink and bile. The stuff still moves under the broken remains of this item. Anyone handling it must save vs death or become infected with his evil and his soul numbing poison. They will die horribly as they relive when the ancient gods came for the fool's soul. They're memories and knowledge still infect this instrument as well. Perhaps it might be worth something to the right wizard. 
  7. The Tongue of Azathoth - This black bell of iron may be found by a large lake where it was cast. The lightning bolt clapper still rests within it. Across its surface there are worked ancient and terrible images of the demon sultan. The thing will never rust but will ring  with a dirge like sound when an evil or black souled fiend of terrible aspect picks it up. They in turn will become the vessel and instrument of the demon sultan upon this plane. They will wander across the face of the Earth seeking out those who worship and push forward the insanity of Azahoth. Once per day the Chosen may call down a lightning strike as per the spell.  Those 'Chosen of Azathoth' become debased creatures of instinct, pain, and lust. Gain and addition 1d6 hit points and 1d8 mutations, the bell will become their most prized possession and not even death can separate then from it. 
  8. Dagger of  Thluhu - This ancient piece of meteor iron is fashioned into a single dagger. The thing is worked with startling etched characters that seem to move and dance as one looks at it. The dagger will cut the first person that picks it up and they will be infected with the madness of the good. The user will gain some of the abilities of a Deep One. But grow weaker during daylight at night they will assume the aspect of a Deep One and carry out the agenda of building a cult to the lost Atlantian aspect of Cthulhu. After using this +1 dagger eventually a Star Spawn will carry them off to an unknown reward with their tentacled master. 
  9. Hand Maiden's Tear - This weirdly worked piece of never rusting iron was once a throwing dagger of strange aspect but all of its points are broken and gone. Its power are not a tenth of what they once were. The owner will be sent strange and disturbing dreams of some nameless cold hell where a demon god is imprisoned.
    Once per full moon the owner of this dagger may summon a type one demon of female aspect. The thing will serve and teach the owner miracles of its demon god but owner must betray a loved one in order to gain the gifts of this horror god.
     Eventually the demon maiden will demand the flesh, and soul of the owner and turn them into a free willed ju ju zombie. The fool will then act as the agent of the demon god upon this plane and hunt for the souls as well as the skin of others. 
  10. The Bullets of Garco - There are hundreds of bead like shot that once belonged to this demon weapon master. He betrayed his demonic master and for his trouble was turned into demonic living sling stone ammunition. These sling stones will do 1d8 points of damage but for each point of damage they cause a year or season of life from the user must taken. They will slay that which can not be slain by mortal weapons and eventually blood equal to the number of bullets used must be given to the name of Garco. Over use of these bullets will result in a blood curse upon the line of the user of these weapons. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

"Avon Fantasy Reader" issue 10. Published by Avon Novels For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaign

 Grab It Free Right Over

When I was a wee lad I stumbled upon a copy or two of these digest sized magazines and they were one of the sources for my gate way drugs into science fiction and fantasy. They make fantastic resources for sword and sorcery campaigns. This issue has some great stuff in it.

Content include the following: 
Featuring: A Witch Shall Be Born by Robert E. Howard; Bimini by Bassett Morgan (aka Grace Jones Morgan); The Statement of Randolph Carter by H. P. Lovecraft; The Mentanicals by Francis Flagg (aka George Weiss); Vengeance in Her Bones by Malcolm Jameson; The Gostak and the Doshes by Miles J. Breuer, M.D.; Storm Warning by Millard Verne Gordon (aka Donald A. Wollheim); and Omega by Amelia Reynolds Long.

The blurb from the back of the Avon Fantasy reader from Wiki : 

It was sold at many newsstands around the United States. The back cover of Avon Fantasy Reader carried this blurb:
Past, Present, or Future or whatever sector of time and space you prefer, you'll find the stories in these pages encompass the entire universe of imagination. From the eerie, spook-haunted corridors of ancient Asian castles to the water-choked avenues of Atlantean kingdoms... From the sinister sands of icy Martian deserts to the thunderbolt battles of future's interplanetary rockets. Neither the invisible energy of atom nor the monstrous matter of the Milky Way present barriers to the mind that author these amazing fantasies. There are no boundaries to the astonishment, thrills and chills you'll meet in the pages of... the Avon Fantasy Reader!
The majority of the fiction published in Avon Fantasy Reader were reprints of works published in pulp magazines.
Avon was a solid company who produced some really cheap and readily available resources besides libraries where folks might find the lesser known authors who would later become household names among fantasy, wargamers, and table top rpg players. 

Wiki had this to say about Avon: 
Avon strived to bring readers little known stories by then little recognized writers such asH. P. LovecraftRay BradburyC. L. MooreA. MerrittMurray Leinster and William Hope HodgsonAvon Fantasy Reader was published from 1946 to 1952 and had 18 issues in full.
In 1951 Avon launched a sister title, Avon Science Fiction Reader, featuring reprints of science fiction.[2] This magazine lasted just three issues before being cancelled in 1952. In January 1953, both magazines merged to become Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, which lasted for two issues before being cancelled as well in April of the same year

Old School Gaming 'The Avon Way'

Cover of the first issue.  At the base of the, a zombie-like figure peering at the viewer over a wall or other flat object.  Other objects in the image are a skull, a distant full moon and a ghost-like figure emanating from a list of authors.

Avon seemed to have both a wide ranging and a wide breath of fantasy, sword and sorcery, as well as a smattering of classic horror right in with a sprinkling of science fiction all packaged in one slick little digest.
These thirty five cent magazines were many folks introduction into these worlds. The Avon way was to keep em coming back for more. The magazines were well edited, well thought out in story placement, and a with way out cover art.
The fantasy was easy to digest. It reminds me of many of the OSR one shot adventures where a night's entertainment are easily handled by a single party of adventurers. The stories seem perfect for just such endeavors, DM's might want to do the same with their players.
Encounters in these stories are high drama but seemed balanced to the circumstances of the 'heroes'. These tales always seem to have a black and white moral sense to them with sharp contrasts of grey when it comes to the heroes.
 All in all many folks haven't heard of the Avon Fantasy Readers giving the Dungeon Master a bit of an advantage when modeling adventures on some of the lesser tales featured. All in all the Avon Fantasy Reader is another solid feather in the DM's war bonnet.  

1d10 Random Encounter Table Of 'Those Who Have Bared Witness To The Summonings' For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg System

File:16xx GĂ©rard de Lairesse - Sleeping Bacchante.jpg
1d10 Random Encounter Table Of
'Those Who Have Bared Witness To The Summonings'
  1. A wailing writhing mob of villagers stumbles out of the woods and proceeds to walk slowly towards you. They're words don't make sense until you can hear bits and pieces of an ancient summoning spell. Over and over is heard the name of some forbidden and half forgotten god.  Then they begin to surround you and that's when you notice the daggers. 
  2. A half mad man stumbles from the bushes, half of his body is burn and the other half covered with strange writing from the city of IX. His tongue has been cut out and two fingers removed from his left hand. The poor wretch is dying but needs and wants to spill his tale. Help him or kill him either is mercy for the gods have shown none. 
  3. A being stands in the middle of a circle of blasted and weird reeds. This being is nether man nor female and devoid of any sexual characteristics. The thing also has no face at all but if you approach it, the creature will begin carving into the soil signs and symbols of what or who did this too what was once 'her'. At the end the thing will melt away as if in a dream. 
  4. A wretched thing of twisted limbs, arms, faces, etc. all fused together and groaning stands or writhes in the middle of a road. It wails the name of some forbidden demon who has done this and begs to be killed. The horror crawls toward you. There is a 60% chance of it carrying some horrid disease. If it lives it will evolve into a monster of legend and myth seeking out its old village. 
  5. A single child of some lost tribe appears in the road the child speaks with the voice and mind of a scholar of old. He will tell his tale of the coming of a lost god and of the new horrors to be visited upon a nearby city. The city was dust a thousand years ago. But there are a handful of innocent villages near by. 
  6. A blind man stumbles toward your party. His sight was taken by the gods because he has witnessed the gods having congress with a mortal. He has come seeking that mortal to kill him or her. But the story changes. He has the face of an old man but the body of a youth of twenty summers. And he carries and ivory carved dagger of unknown make. 
  7. A lady from a nearby minor royal house is traveling by horse back to a nearby village. She is dressed for adventure but she has no time for anyone. She is actually possessed by a minor god who wants to make trouble for mortals. The other gods of its pantheon are seeking it. They will possess nearby mortals. You have been chosen to bare witness to these events. 
  8. A minor cat god Ufrex is seeking one of his sacred lost charges and wants to enlist your add. A minor noble is his vessel and seeks your party's help. She is surrounded by 60 or more cats including a saber toothed tiger. 
  9. A strange bubbling rolling cloud heads toward your party. It contains the lost souls of twenty two minor houses of Atlantis and they have a tale to tell. They also may try to possess your party. They have witnessed the coming of the demon sultan and none may stay their hands. 
  10. A young child has been possessed by the dreams of dread Cthulhu. A puddle of water has formed around his feet and strange tendril like things bubble below the surface. He has called for your party by name. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1d10 Random Bits And Pieces of Potent Magic Artifacts Table For The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg System

File:Pinhead LACMA M.76.97.808.jpg

1d10 Random Bits And Pieces of Potent Magic Artifacts Table
  1. This bronze like metal child's toy echoes with the haunting laughter of its ancient owner. The thing will summon a ghost when moonlight hits it. She will want a favor in order to unlock its magical power and potential. 
  2. A jeweled bracelet with bits missing except for one perfect pearl eye of the serpent that grants true sight to its owner. But the monsters of the world will be drawn to its owner unless he or she finds the cursed owner who has been wandering across the face of Hyperborea for thousands of years. The bracelet might help. 
  3. A small golden medallion part of a greater design. This small piece  shines with an inner light spell. The there is a bit of a demon's dream that still touches it. Once in a while an evil stray thought comes through. The horror is drawing closer to the medallion. 
  4. A small draw string leather bag of silver buttons with an Atlantian light design on them. They were once part of a royal cloak. Each one may fire off a 'magic missile' spell as part of a display. There is an air of tragedy that hangs about them. From time to time they almost seem to weep. 
  5. A bit of music from Leng, this music bit of music on velium like material will play through the owner's mind but only a part. They will be cursed to find the rest of the music which is actually part of a summoning rite in the form of a 'Grand Opera'. The entire opera will drive the owner of the music insane. They will perform the entire piece themselves and be torn to pieces and their soul consumed by the Outer Gods. 
  6. A piece of river glass which is actually a semi precious stone that belongs in the crown of an arch lich. The crown still sits on the abomination's head but this simple stone will float in the air and point to the crown. The user will dreams of the lich who wishes his crown complete. The owner will be promised through telepathy fabulous treasures if only they complete a series of small tasks for the evil thing. 
  7. A stone eye ball part of the statue of a god in Atlantis. The thing even now searches for his eye. This little bauble grants infravision and occasional prophecies. It also grants visions or nightmares of the god owner of the thing. The user will be under a minor curse to seek out the owner. 
  8. This small piece of amber contains the essence of several people's souls  trapped within. The owner will be haunted by the babbling cacophony of these souls but also have access to their intellect and wisdom. There is a 30% chance that they may know some vital scrap of information about the land you are currently in. They also have dark and perverse secrets that occasionally bubble to the surface. These secrets may spill from your lips and shock or insult those around you. There are rumors of men being led to incredible treasures by these types of spirit traps. What item was this piece originally from. 
  9. A bag of one hundred perfectly smooth ball baring like spheres. These are actually information spheres of the Great Race of Yith. They might reward or destroy those who return them. 
  10. A half a coin belonging  to the Deep Ones. This coin if made whole will summon both Father Dagon and Monther Hydra who will want to eat the summoner. The coin can not control the Great Old Ones. The spell has been etched off of this half of the coin. Even now a vile wizard is searching for your half of the coin and will soon be upon you demanding it.

Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Classic Download - Happy Birthday Robert Howard !

  Happy Birthday Robert E. Howard! 
Professional photograph of Robert E. Howard wearing a hat and suit.

Many of his works are available right over
Born this day is one of my all time favorite sword and sorcery, horror, pulp, authors! 

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.
Howard was born and raised in the state of Texas. He spent most of his life in the town of Cross Plains with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death at the age of 30 by suicide, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he had become successful in several genres. Although a Conan novel was nearly published into a book in 1934, his stories never appeared in book form during his lifetime. The main outlet for his stories was in the pulp magazine Weird Tales.
Personally, I think he was taken far too early from us. I will not speculate upon his mental health. There are far greater experts out there on such issues. His work looms large upon us. To me he's just as important as Tolkien and any other fantasy writer whose walked the Earth.
You can find far more information that I can give you right over HERE
Happy Birthday Mr. Howard wherever you are. Gone but never forgotten. I've always loved this particular poem of his.
Adventurer  (1926) 
by Robert Ervin Howard
Dusk on the sea; the fading twilight shifts'
The night wind bears the ocean's whisper dim—
Wind, on your bosom many a phantom drifts—
A silver star climbs up the blue world rim.
Wind, make the green leaves dance above me here
And idly swing my silken hammock—so;
Now, on that glimmering molten silver mere
Send the long ripples wavering to and fro.
And let your moon-white tresses touch my face
And let me know your slim-armed, cool embrace
While to my dreamy soul you whisper low.

Dream—aye, I've dreamed since last night left her tower
And now again she comes on star-soled feet.
Welcome, old friend; here in this rose-gemmed bower
I've drowsed away your Sultan's golden heat.
Here in my hammock, Time I've dreamed away
For I have but to stretch a hand out, lo,
I'm treading langurous shores of Yesterday,
Moon-silvered deserts or the star-weird snow;
I float o'er seas where ships are purple shells,
I hear the tinkle of the camel bells
That waft down Cairo's streets when dawn winds blow.

South Seas! I watch when dusky twilight comes
Making vague gods of ancient, sea-set trees.
The world path beckons—loud the mystic drums—
Here at my hand the magic golden keys
That fit the doors of Romance, Wonder, strange
Dim gossamer adventures; seas and stars.
Why, I have roamed the far Moon Mountain range
When sunset minted gold in shimmering bars.
All eager eyed I've sailed from ports of Spain
And watched the flashing topaz of the Main
When dawn was flinging witch fire on the spars.

I am content in dreams to roam my fill
The vagrant, drifting sport of wind and tide,
Slave of the greater freedom, venture's thrill;
Here every magic ship on which I ride.
Gold, green, blue, red, a priceless treasure trove,
More wealth than ever pirate dared to dream.
My hammock swings—about the world I rove.
The sunset's dusk, the dawning's glide and gleam,
Moon-dappled leaves are murmuring in the wind
Which whispers tales. Lo, Tyre is just behind,
Through seas of dawn I sail, Romance abeam.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Classic Download -The Tale of Satampra Zeiros Clark Ashton Smith

 Grab It Right

From the 1932 issue of Weird Tales, this one is a must read for both the regular dungeon master and those running Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. This story has so many of the classic elements of the Hyperborean cycle by Smith. The story is very Dunsanian in its prose, exacution and substance.
The story gets right into its world and drags you in as you read the first couple of paragraphs. The ideals are very clear here and the sword and sorcery motif is all there.
According to wiki: 
"Satampra Zeiros" is a story written in the style of Lord Dunsany, who wrote a similar tale of thievery gone wrong called "How Nuth Would Have Practiced His Art upon the Gnoles". Robert M. Price points to Dunsany's "Bethmoora", featuring another deserted city, as an additional likely inspiration" 
The material in the Lord Dunsany material was so inspiration that it was used as the basis for the deserted city in  the film Hellboy II. 
Once again Wiki : 
"Bethmoora is a short story created by the Irish writer Lord Dunsany. Published in 1910 in the book A Dreamer's Tale, this short story tells the tale of a desolated place named Bethmoora.
In Hellboy II, Bethmoora is located in Antrim, Northern Ireland, and is a legendary underground land. It used to be a lively city, but as soon as the Golden Army was stored in Bethmoora, a plage of silence and death descended upon the land." 
You can read about Dundsany's Bethmoora right over HERE

Even HP Lovecraft himself loved Smith's tale! Once again according to Wiki : 
When Smith sent his friend H. P. Lovecraft a copy of the unpublished manuscript, he responded with "well-nigh delirious delight.... You have achieved in its fullest glamour the exact Dunsanian touch which I find it almost impossible to duplicate.... Altogether, I think this comes close to being your high point in prose fiction to date...
Smith would go on to write far more in the Hyberborean cycle, his ideas, story content and exacutation continued with each new Hyperborean tale. The ideas laid down in the story are easily exacutated with many of the Swords and Sorcery rpgs on the market today. Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea clearly emulates many of Smith's themes from The Tale of Satampra Zeiros. 

Slicing Deeper Into The Free Download of Issue One Of Underworld Lore From Gorgon Milk and Co.

Get It Right Over

Gorgon and crew did a fantastic job of breaking down some great D30 tables, weird fungus, undead options and more all in 25 pages of tomb rattling fun!
 Much of this material focuses on dungeon dwelling denizens and the diseases which infect them. I've been re examining the material for adapting it to a number of different settings including sword and sorcery. Many of the tables and articles are perfect for a long abandon city, urban environments, and adding just a bit more weirdness to some of the more prosaic dungeon encounters.
Basically I've been looking into the after effects of 'The Green Death' in AS&SH And many of the pathogens that seem to come down the pike in many of the swords and sorcery settings that I've been using lately.
I've also applied much of this material to more modern settings with some pretty interesting results. Horror gaming often seems to hang on surprise. The problem is that role players always seem to have 'been there gotten the tee shirt' and don't comeback for more. With games like Call of Cthulhu (which is awesome by the way). The pressure is on to do something different. That's where magazines like 'Underworld Lore' help fill the gap. If you've got 20 minutes before your players arrive and need something special. Here you go.
The weirdness factor alone is sure to stir more then a bit of interest among some of my more shall we say 'jaded' players.
 All in all the issues of 'Underworld Lore' that I've seen have been very well thought out, expertly edited, and get straight to the point of Old School Gaming. The run of these magazines has been perfect for throwing a few curve balls at even the most experienced players and always seems to make them come back for more.
 Did I mention that the issue is free and does all of this in twenty four pages?  

Monday, January 20, 2014

1d10 Unholy Sacrificial Knives For Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea

The blades had been worked from the 'holy place'. The rock and stone worked with skill and dedication to their bloody and demanding god. The priests began to chant and the long process of creating the sacred tools had begun.
It would take them twelve cycles of the little moon to complete their task but the power of their ancient and unholy gods sustained them. Each one would be imbued with a different talent for the taking of the flesh, blood, and spirit from the sacrifice.
Each one would be worked by fire, skill, and a bit of their own blood as well as their spirit. They would live on through their tools. The jungle witnessed their workings as it had countless times as the moons crossed the skies of Hyperborea.
 There are other blades made by a thousand cultures. 
Here are some examples.

1d10 Unholy Sacrificial Knives
  1. Yruitro - This blade of quartz and flint is wrapped in preserved human intestines and sings as a bird while it goes about its work. The thing is +2 when cutting through the flesh of sacrifices and is as sharp as a surgical instrument. The thing will be greedy having been buried for far too long in the soil. There is a 40% chance of it trying to cut its finder and bleeding them out right there with their own hand. 
  2. Zimru The Greedy One - This blade of midnight black obsidian is always ready. The person wielding it gains a +2 on initiative and it cuts as a +1 dagger. The blade is imbued with the spirit of the priest who wielded it. He no longer remembers the ancient gods he once served only that there must be blood and sacrifice. His crippled and insane ghost hovers around this blade. 
  3. Yunus The Ghost Taker - This blade was made by Norse men and its blade is made of wrought iron and forged from the cold ice of unmelting snow fires. The thing hungers for blood and souls. It is a +2 weapon and turns its wielder into an cannibalistic berserk who rage at each full moon. He shall regenerate as a troll and turn to Chaotic Evil in word & deed. The blade will ever be at his side until he is killed by fire. 
  4. Resuro The Butterfly - This blade was created by fire and lightning at the heart of a volcano dedicated to the butterfly gods of Chaos. The blade gives its bearer immunity to fire and flame. The bearer must seek out the helpless and feeble to slay. The blade is +1 but thirsts for blood for its unholy gods. The wielder will always have murder in their mind and heart, always lurking for the moment to strike. 
  5. Hrtyru The Crow - This blade has been forged from the discarded remains of many nations by Pictish war priests. The thing will seek out the hand of a warrior wronged by civilized man in battle. It will act as a +1 dagger in all respects. But the thing craves the eyes of men. It will make its wielder eat the eyes of his victims and know their memories. These memories will stay with the wielder for 1d4 hours then they will want to repeat the experience. 
  6.  Eirrrush The Wandering Skinner - This skinning blade was forged from the molten heart of a meteor by the hand of a minor god. This skinning knife was passed down through many tribes of the East until finally it was lost to legend. The thing seeks the skins of man and those wielding it must cut the skins of their victims off after battle. The knife grants +2 on strength and dexterity in the form of a rush of orgasmic battle fury before a battle but the rites must be observed afterwards. Failure to do so means a minor curse upon the wielder until he makes amends to the knife's spirit. 
  7. The Iron Scalpel of Jruru The Butcher - This never rusting  scalpel of bone, quartz, and iron  was once an instrument of healing but its owner healed a murderous berserk unknowingly and his spirit passed into the owner. Jruru The Butcher is the name of both the blade and the spirit within. The blade was finally lost in a harbor someplace in the West. The owner was burned at the stake pleading his innocence. There is a type two demon living within this blade. It will have access to all of its usual powers after possessing the wielder after 1d4 days. In all respects this is +2 blade of sharpness otherwise. 
  8. Jachale The Jade Heart Taker - This blade of iron wood was carved from the god tree Jachale and flaked with many pieces of lost jade. The blade is the home of a multitude of ghosts who crave blood for their god. They feel that somehow this will free them from their wooden prison. It never does.
    The blade acts as a +1 dagger but once per day the user may use the pass wall abilities of a ghost. He will have many of the minor abilities of a ghost. These are not without a price however. The user must drink the heart blood of an innocent after three months. Within 1d8 months of using this blade. The wielder must pray to 
    Jachale or join the spirits within the blade itself. 
  9. Xrruruer The Spirit Taker - This blade was forged from the wedding gifts of Xrruruer a princess of a long extinct people. She is cursed to wander across the world in the form of a blade after betraying her family to Cthulhu as a sacrifice.
    Those wielding this blade will be in contact with her spirit and possessed of a longing romantic interest with this unholy thing. She will demand the souls of the wielder's victims. Those slain by this blade will erupt into a mass of horrid tendrils as the victim's soul is sucked into the void to be devoured.
    The blade may harm things not able to be harmed by normal weapons but wielder can not rid themselves either the blade or 
    Xrruruer herself. Her knowledge and power will be passed to the wielder for a time( those are up to the DM). 
  10. The Blade of The Mad Sultan - This blade of iron and quartz has been dedicated to the demon sultan god himself. Those who wield it are themselves forfeit to the mad thing. It acts as +1 dagger but will slay any being. Those who wield it will themselves have their very souls consumed. The thing supposedly has a fate to slay a city. It has not been seen in many centuries. Its legends are lost to Hyperborea 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review and Commentary On The Free Dragonfoot OSR resource- Mama Bechoes Brothel

Get It Right Over 
The Blurb :
Every town needs a cat house. Yours is no exception. Just don’t make Mama mad, she’s very protective of her girls, among other things
Every sword and sorcery campaign needs a brothel. My Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hypberborea game began in this three page brothel with some wilely secrets. The PC's were assembled in the common room and gotten into some of the darker aspects of the campaign around some of Mama's 'special rooms'.

These maps are well thought out with a good bit of detail but not so much that the DM can't fill in the background as they like. The establishment has some interesting twists and turns that are easily added to as needed.
 The material is quick, simple, and concisely laid out for a DM to download, print, and go. With this era of tablets this is big plus but given my preoccupation with maps and player handouts this  one made a very nice addition to last night's game.
A very nice little cat house with some interesting additions. All in all I was pretty damn happy with my visit to Mama's! ;-)
Happy Gaming! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On The Road To Aradondo An Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Actual Play Adventure

There are rumors among the harbor surrounding the Lizard Coast of  Hyperborea. Legends and tales of an ancient evil that is emerging into the world. Of an island swamp where great treasure awaits but also great evil.
A party of seven individuals has answered the call to find their lost comrade who journeyed ahead and was lost to the horrors of Aradondo itself. 
An expedition to find a nobleman who went in search of the treasures of lost Atlantis herself but has not been heard from in over eight months. His family has hired a group of desperate adventurers to take up the challenge.
They are to search a small chain of islands far off the Lizard Coast. They have heard rumors of survivors of the earlier expedition being seen as brain altered servants by pirates and slavers to these islands.
 The journey is  long,involved, and very treacherous indeed. The PC's have set off in a long ship from one of the minor harbors surrounding the Lizard Coast. They heard many rumors and legends surrounding the Snake Riders of Aradondo. It is said that the Snake Riders and the Lizard men have made war with each other for several thousand years. This is protracted war with no end in sight.

Get It right
Hidden a midst a jungle teaming with giant crocodiles, man-eating carnivorous apes, and frogs the size of ponies lies a forgotten temple that harbors the bane of mankind.  The skilled might reach this temple.  The exceptional might actual discover its secrets and prevent a great evil from emerging to plague all the inhabitants of this world. 

After a twenty five day journey across the seas. The party happened upon a nice habitable island and put in for fresh supplies such as fruit, fresh water, game,etc.
 Everything seemed fine until they ran into the resident Allosaurus

Number Appearing 1d4 +1 
Alignment : Neutral 
Size: Large 
Move: 50
Dexterity: 15
Armor Class: 5 
Hit Dice 4+2 
No Attacks: 3 (Claw, Claw, Bite)
Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d10 
Saving Throw : 14 
Morale: 7 
Experience 1,110
The party had a very nasty time with these horrors from another time. They were able to deal with these horrors tonight but it cost them time

The melee was watched with keen interest by the scouting party of a group of cannibal warriors. They left the island as soon as the party won against the Allosaurus. Two dug out boats left the island.

 The party managed to secure some minor treasures from the victims of the man eating dinosaurs.