Saturday, February 28, 2015

Setting for the Vorpal Chainsword Chronicles

As some of you know, I recently started a Sword & Sorcery 5th edition D&D campaign with my local crew. Thing is, as a fancy-pants weekly business-traveling responsible sad adult I can't seem to get enough productive creativity-time these days to actually flesh out a solid campaign world. One that is internally-consistent and that would allow the players the ability to sandbox-explore like they deserve. I mean, I can type up blogposts in hotel rooms easily enough, but I can't as easily sit back and fully-immerse myself into the fantastic worlds of the mind and create fantasy realms as much as I could in my youth.

Dramatization: Me circa 1988.
So far its just been a city and a dungeon I've had to design/build, which is fine for 1st and 2nd level characters, but I feel like it would be better if I could describe the landscape in a more detailed fashion, without having to build it all myself. Basically what I need is a campaign world template that I can place my own individual dungeons and such on top of if I want, or that the players can explore on their own. It needs to be a good fantasy setting, but not one that's full of elves and hobbits and whatnot. It can't be the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, or anything normal. It needs to be something post-apocalyptic, and yet full of alien magic.,,

...and I think I've just found it. The perfect companion to my new campaign world...

Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea!
That's right, it comes in a BOXED SET! Nostalgia bomb dropped.
I've been reading Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SoH) this weekend and I've confirmed that it is perfect for getting the brain-juices flowing for Chronicles of the Vorpal Chainsword. Its a full game and campaign-setting chock full of lovecraft-meets-fulci history and lore for the blasted lands, and its got the perfect vibe for roleplaying the settings that you would see in movies like Deathstalker, Beastmaster, or Conan the Barbarian. Plus its got a huge fold-out map for me to crib location ideas off of. Absolutely Perfect!

A place on the map called The Black Waste? Check! History of a horrible plague called the Green Death? Check! Uhhh...Oceans? Check!
Now, officially AS&SoH uses an old-school OD&D rules system, very 1st ed AD&D, but that's okay, because a lot of the text on the items and places are descriptive, rather than rule-specific. And anyway, most old-school rules cross over with new-school D&D if I decide I want to use them. Because really, if a black meteorite chain-hook or an atlantean radium rifle says it does 6d6 damage, then that's how much damage its going to do, regardless of whether your game gives Clerics a spell at first level or not. Easy-peasy.

If you're a fan of Sword and Sorcery like me, I heartily recommend you check out Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea! Its a game setting made with us old grognards in mind.

Game on brothers and sisters!

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