Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes is one of the latest action packed sword and sorcery adventure titles for The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea and adds a whole new wasteland and desert set of adventure elements to this title.
This one of those adventures that was a part of the Astonishing Swordsmen & Swordsmen of Hyperborea's Kickstarter, its also one of the adventures I've been wanting to check out for a very long while now. Real life has been kicking my behind as of late and work has had me tied up lately. But I did make time to dive into the deep end of Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes by AS&SH's author Jeff Talanian . I'm happy to say that it was A.worth the wait and B.does exactly what I thought it would do. The Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes extends the world of Hyperborea by seven league designer boots. We get more background and intrigue into the unique end of Jeff Talanian's version of Hyperborea. And it works out quite nicely for what it does and it does it very well. If the cover looks like an early 80's Marvel Conan style comic birthed into an OSR, it's been done for a reason and that very reason is to echo what this module does. It plays with and revels in the sword and sorcery aesthetic that get's revealed in its plot. "Somewhere in the depths of Diamond Desert lie the skeletal remains of Ymir’s Serpent, a legendary Viking longship. In days of yore, Sigtrygg Forkbeard led his company upriver, piercing the desert’s hostile heart. There the Vikings unearthed a lost mine brimming with green diamonds, but the River Æolus desiccated as the Serpent prepared for launch, and the ship was swallowed by the dunes. Forkbeard and his company were never seen again, but tales of a shimmering Viking ghost ship gliding over the dunes persist to this day."
This adventure plays fast as well loose with the players motives & expectations of the legend of the Ghost Ship by weaving its own Hyperborean mythology and legends around Ymir’s Serpent all of the while drawing the PC's deeper and deeper into the adventure while revealing more of the mysteries of Hyperborea's glorious past as well as details about its peoples, details, setting bits, and even more weirdness. In point of fact there is a ton of elements of dungeon crawling, investigation, a bit of plundering, and lots and lots of sword and sorcery action. This adventure adds lot of Hyperborean details and story line to the world of Hyperborea which brings me to the point. This isn't simply another bit of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea but a full blown expansion. Ghost Ship does another trick that original Dungeons and Dragons module series adventures also did at the same time it fleshes out details it also gap fills all of the little bits and pieces about its corner of the Hyperborean setting and world through its adventure encounters, NPC portraits, background details, and game elements. Jeff's adventure adds a three sectional approach to Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes adventure allowing a progression approach to the sword and sorcery elements of the adventure's story line. This isn't a whole bunch of rail roaded adventure elements but a consistent journey that the PC's are put on. But does it live up to the ten dollar price tag? I think so given the way that the
Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes is laid out. Here lives are going to be changed and ruined as well as people dying under the heat of the uncaring Hyperborean sun! Wait till this one goes on sale and then grab it. I give this adventure a five out of five because of the balance, weird elements, and original use of its content. If your a sword and sorcery fan this is one to pick up.
Even more detail over at the Swords and Stitchery Blog
Sword and Sorcery Blog
[5 of 5 Stars!]