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HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual
by Schaefer W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2022 00:08:25

Just a couple notes on why this book is just as awesome and high quality as the Players Manual:\

Refereeing

• Greatest hits of refereeing advice, not just for this game or even just OSR games. I found this chapter to be one of the best versions of this type of GM advice and really recommend giving it a serious read no matter your experience level! I was impressed anyway.

Bestiary

• Given the Sword & Sorcery setting, this is comprehensive. Most old favorites are still here plus lots of new and unique monsters, and there is something like 20 pages of just demons, so. Old school stat blocks are very easy to read at a glance.

Treasure

• I am a huge fan of these treasure tables. Very detailed if desired, and I do not feel nervous about rolling random hoards. Items are awesome without being overpowered (or if they are it's for a limited time or at least a good purpose).

Gazetteer

• This is a dauntingly imaginative, vivid, complex, and somewhat challenging world. Certainly complex in that it is built from the flotsam of around 100 years of Sword & Sorcery fiction; this is a world to savor. Here is an example:

There is a particular section explaining a random location that is far from the beaten path. This section is three sentences long. The first sentence explains the location and where it is relative to the rest of the world. The second and third sentences detail an entire alien race, their physiology, where they come from, specifically what they are doing near this world, and how they might run afoul of the players. This is not a setting to try to drink in all at once, is what I am saying.

General

  • Fantastic art throughout!


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
by Schaefer W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2022 00:04:38

This is my absolute favorite OSR game, as well as a top game overall for me and I am happy to celebrate getting my physical copies of 3rd edition in the mail with a written review. 10/10 would get eaten by radioactive Viking zombies again.

Overall I love the clarity of the rules and thoughtfulness of their presentation, the newly added art is a huge upgrade, and the classes and setting are absolutely amazing. These are the rules I want to play classic modules with, and the experience at the table is simply perfect. The creator's depth of knowledge of Sword & Sorcery fiction, and its deep integration into the setting, is seriously impressive.

A few things that jump out to me from the chapters in this book:

Statistics

• I really like the little tweaks to smooth out character attributes. A high score still grants access to incredible capabilities, but players are not kneecapped by mediocre scores. The system of tests and extraordinary feats for covering action outside of combat is smooth and easy to learn. All the impacts attributes have on gameplay are meaningful and add the right level of detail for me.

Classes

• There are 26 classes in the game, and I want to try every class, which is really rare for me - even the Bard, probably. The overall approach to class design is just awesome and every class fills its own unique role with cool abilities. The power level of this game is really tightly lined up to its Sword & Sorcery ideals and every class gets to be powerful and badass without getting on the train to silly town.

Background

• I will say that I found the presentation here around race (and the related concepts like half-blood, etc.) to be a jarring vibe at first. Reading on though, this is one of the most imaginative, diverse, and complex settings that I for one have played with. Every culture bears spending a good amount of time reading up on here and maybe Wikipedia as well. In that sense, be aware that there is a lot of nuance and complexity here related to the setting and material in the Referee's book and it might be good to ease into the amount of information you are in for here. Also beware, this section is a gateway drug to get players hooked on mythology, medieval history, and Sword & Sorcery fiction.

Equipment

• Whoever decided to include all the drawings of the weapons is a genius. This section made me 8 years old again just for a moment and that was worth the price right there. An example of the small touches in this book that add up to one of my favorite experiences ever.

Sorcery

• I love the individual spell lists for the casting classes - they really give every class its own flavor and role. The spells themselves are selected with care and are awesome without being out of control for Referees and Players to handle.

Adventure

• I finally fully understand how to use hirelings and henchmen after reading these rules. The layout and presentation of the rules is crystal clear and delivers OSR concepts in a fresh and very easy to learn package. Absolute best rules presentation of any game that I have.

Combat

• The advanced combat options are all inspired and do just the right amount to create depth to combat and make martial classes interesting without bogging down the speed of the game or interfering with compatibility when playing old modules. The combat in this game is so, so good. I happen to really like the combat matrix and descending AC so I am somewhat biased there.

2nd Edition versus 3rd Edition

• I made the decision to upgrade from a physical copy of 2nd Edition to a physical + pdf set for 3rd Edition. The rewrite of the Monk class, plus the other more minor tweaks are certainly good, but the added art and update to the presentation by splitting to two books put it over the top for me. This feels like the final version of one of my favorite games of all time



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
by Marc Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2022 18:05:33

Good clean awesome classic fantasy RPG juice.

If you like OSR games, or your tired of DND5E games that are filled with nothing but 2 hour long combats with immortal player characters this is your jam right here.

My personal favorite part of this system is the subclasses available. Besides just being a fighter you can be a Berserker or a catapracht. Each one of them plays and feels differently without making the core clase (IE just a fighter) weaker. each of them provide there own seperate play experience.

Great setting and art as well. All around great game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
by Jeremiah D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2022 01:26:09

I've always liked AD&D, but strongly disliked how messy and disorganized it is. For me, HYPERBOREA is the perfect answer for that. Beatiful books, extremely well-organized and easy to use. There are lots of options and crunchy bits you can use or treat as optional. It has a fantastic default setting, but is integrated loosely enough that it doesn't feel weird or cumbersome to use this system outside of the world of HYPERBOREA. This will be my system of choice for enjoying the dozens of classic AD&D modules I own with my friends. Additionally, the HYPERBOREA setting is so well-presented and flavorful that I am certain we will be enjoying adventures there as well!

The art, layout, and writing are all top-notch. The author has a distinctive voice, and things are described with a flavor that we don't normally see. The author's attention to detail and passion for this project are readily apparent in the pages of this book.

I'm a notorious house-ruler, and normally I see dozens of things I want to modify when I'm reading a rules system, but there is "surprizingly" little I would want to change here. One notable exception would be that I prefer ascending armor class. Even though the option is not offered explicitly, I appreciate how easy it is to simply use the Fighting Ability as an attack bonus and convert AC values to an ascending AC system. It feels as if the author anticipated some people would want to do that and made it as frictionless as possible to do so. I feel a great sense of relief that I can finally stop writing house rules and custom systems to satisfy my preferences, and get on with the actual gaming!

If you are looking to enjoy an AD&D-like experience in 2022 and beyond, whether it be with classic adventure modules, homebrew content, or the excellently presented HYPERBOREA setting and adventures, I don't think there is anything out there that could hold a candle to the HYPERBOREA rules set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
by Trevor B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2022 10:31:14

This game is amazing and is by far my favorite OSR game. The setting is just incredible and the work the creator did to give this world such a unique feel is astounding.

Here is a review I did for this game. https://youtu.be/gG40lO9nmp8

Thanks!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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HYPERBOREA Player's Manual
by Aaron M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2022 14:23:54

I've always been a huge of Hyperborea's world and take on the AD&D ruleset, but was really put off by some of the art and layout decisions of the 2nd edition. This new edition addresses all my issues however, and I couldn't be happier with new art and the rearranging of the old. Very exciting to flip through cover to cover now!

Besides the art though, this will probably be my OSR game of choice for a variety of reasons: Humancentric setting; tons of cool classes; interesting armor, weapons, items, and spells; and tiny combat tweaks I really enjoy (like larger weapons striking first despite initiative). Most importantly though, the ease and speed of rolling up characters thanks to a quick reference of all the class's minimum stat requirements and optimized equipment packages for each class.

With a million B/X Clones to choose from, it's nice having a solid AD&D contender in the mix as well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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AS&SH Character Name Generator
by Jack S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2021 10:28:46

I use this table to generate all of my mercenary and henchmen names. The names generated not only fit the setting but add additional depth. I haven't tried to use it on the fly during a game but I imagine it would work for that as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AS&SH Character Name Generator
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Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition)
by Fernando d. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/09/2021 21:26:37

Great RPG book for those who love Conan, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Sword and Sorcery in general.

The system is inspired on AD&D, which I don't play. Nevertheless the book is filled with great ideas, great tables, great scenario and beatiful artwork which can be used in any system or campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition)
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The Lost Treasure of Atlantis
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2020 13:32:30

"In the far reaches of Hyperborea’s Crab Archipelago lies a small, mountainous island known as Crystal Point. Passing sailors recently have witnessed a crimson glow in Crystal Point’s waters and beams of russet light shining up from its steep cliffs. Too, unusually frequent lightning storms in the area have torn the sky in blinding flashes, shattering the air with their awesome sound. The seedy wharf taverns of Khromarium and elsewhere buzz with these strange tales—some even speculate that Crystal Point may hold the lost treasure of Atlantis! "

I count myself very lucky indeed because I maintain fantastic friendships with some incredible authors of the OSR & old school gaming. Today's Sword & Sorcery mail call comes in from Chainsaw himself the author of Lost Treasures of Atlantis for the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg.

Now 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' by Chainsaw is one of those AS&SH adventures that has many of the hall marks of AS&SH quality adventures. Solid writing & design by the module's author, really nice layout, cartography by Glynn Seal Monkey Blood Design clocking in at sixty four pages of Sword & Sorcery Hyperborean OSR weirdness. This is a solid module done with care & eye towards really pulling the PC's into the adventure's heart & action.

Check out the quality of the binding & the paper for 'Lost Treasures of Atlantis'.

The module places the PC's within the fully fleshed out VILLAGE of KREN-FAK & its Esquimaux crab-kin which indicates that your party of adventurers isn't in Kansas anymore especially the village descriptions; "The Esquimaux crab-kin of this village, located a few days from Crystal Point, dye their skin red to resemble their crab-man masters. They also adorn themselves in chitinous titivations. When not raiding Pictish crab-kin villages toward the base of the Crab Archipelago, the locals fish, whale, and oversee slaves in copper mines on the nearby islands. The villagers view travellers suspiciously, but they will tolerate visitors so long as the strangers bring goods to trade, tributes for the crab-men, or important news." This village is an important start point where the party is going to pick up supplies, rumors, hireling, and perhaps even replacement party members! 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' is a fully fleshed out adventure & geared for the far reaches of Hyperborea’s Crab Archipelago. The whole adventure is for four to six characters of 6th through 8th level. I want to stress that this is the case! PC's are gonna half to watch their step in KREN-FAK with its Esquimaux crab-kin inhabitants. The ocean voyage to Crystal point is dangerous as it gets;"The voyage to Crystal Point is fraught with peril, island hopping the ocean reaches of the Crab Archipelago. Following the ancient Esquimaux bearing, worthy sea vessels at length will enter the tempestuous zone known as River Okeanos, located betwixt the 18th and 36th parallels. Here the winds flow in opposing belts, looping and crisscrossing at different junctures depending on seasons and other conditions. In Tempest (Year 4, Hare), River Okeanos is plagued by deadly whirlpools. Sea ice forms from Coda (Year 12, Fox) to Genesis (Year 1, Bear), and icebergs are a constant threat7 . Veteran mariners (viz. Amazons, Ixians, Vikings, and Zangeriosans) understand the River Okeanos and use its wuthering airstreams to their advantage. Less realized is the capability of Esquimaux seamen who ply this deadly zone in their umiaks, outfitted with outboard runners" If your running the 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' don't take the oceans of Hyperborea lightly they can be deadly. The random encounters add an extra element of action & complete danger to the affair. The colours on the module covers is eye popping & vibrant! The artwork & the paper of solid quality!

Note that this will be happening to your PC's & don't screw with the crabmen!

Crystal Point itself is a study in Hyperborean dungeon design & deadliness with the PC's coming into the action like something out of a Ray Harryhausen movie. 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' switches up the Lovecraftian action on 'eleven' & then breaks off the knob with the PC's encountering ruined temples, random NPC's with ties to other dangerous factions of Crystal Point, and adventure elements surrounding the mystery of the isolated & insane location. I mean this in a good way.

Yes my copy of the 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis'
came with the awesome book marks!

'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' is both a sandbox, & location based adventure with lots of weird & some tragic NPC's who are going to cross the PC's path. The adventure material here is solidly strange with PC's running across a temple of Shub Niggurath & throughout module we see the strange influence & domination of the AS&SH Crabmen. These beings are strange, alien, unsettling, & very dangerous to the PC's life!

'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' is a nasty little dungeon delve & Hyperborean hoe down as Chain Saw amps up the weird to Lovecraftian levels again & again. The adventure environs here are going to be very memorable & highly dangerous to the party! Around every corner is another shock & surprise I'm not kidding. I don't wanna spoil the surprises but 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' is gonna take a lot of thinking on the player's end & its gonna take whole lot guts, guile, intelligence, & roll playing to get past some of this adventure's obstacles! I mean this in a good way! The PC's are gonna be in way,way, over their heads very quickly.

The room descriptions, the magic item artwork, the twists & Lovcraftian turns, all added to by the editing of David Prata with Chainsaws writing as well as his design make 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' . All of this module is brought to life with the artistry of Johnathan Bingham, Mick Fernette, David Hoskins, Diogo Nogueira, Glynn Seal, Del Teigeler, & Mike Tenebrae. Take into all of this & this is another five outta five in my estimation.

I want to thank Jeffrey Talanian & the whole North Wind Adventures crew for bringing to life 'The Lost Treasures of Atlantis' . But I wanna thank Chainsaw himself for sending these modules my way! I've got more to say about Otherworldly Tales adventures coming up so stay tuned!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog. Want more exclusive OSR & Old School content Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lost Treasure of Atlantis
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The Sea-Wolf's Daughter
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2020 01:48:13

"Your party finds itself in the employ of Ragnarr the Sea-Wolf, a jarl of New Vinland and a reaver of old. His daughter, a shield-maiden named Gunnhildr, has been abducted by a brute called Björn Blackbeard. During a desperate search, the Sea-Wolf crossed sails with a former rival, and from the blood-flecked lips of a dying foe, he learnt the location of Blackbeard’s stronghold. Now, deep in the misty fjords of Brigand’s Bay, where cutthroats, pirates, and freebooters thrive, you have been charged with liberating the Sea-Wolf’s daughter."

So I approached the author & designer of The Sea-Wolf's Daughter by Jeffrey P. Talanian who also happens to be the designer & writer of the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system for a pdf copy of the adventure. After a bit of poking & prodding & a few crossed wires the adventure arrived in my email box.

'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' by Jeffrey P. Talanian puts the PC's into the Viking & mercenary underbelly of Hyperborea. Take one part Pulp Viking adventure romp add in lots of other worldly weirdness & you've got the makings of a higher end AS&SH module designed for PC's from four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. This is a lethal party wipe of an adventure if the players are not careful. This is an upper level AS&SH module with all that that entails. The encounters are harder, the enenmies nastier, & the setting is pure Robert E. Howard with a Lovecraftian Jack Kirby mix of high adventure. But the first part is pure AS&SH Viking & barbarian goodness with the PC's in the employ of Ragnarr the Sea-Wolf, a jarl of New Vinland. But its the adventure material around the events of 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' that really sets this adventure off. What I mean is that which each & every module that comes out for AS&SH, the campaign as well as the game setting of Hyperborea is expanded upon a little more. In this adventure some of the NPC's that the party is gonna run across are just as dangerous if not more so then the monsters. Not that these are not deadly. The layout, cartograhpy by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design is on point, but some of the artwork is down right cool with talent the likes of Daisey Bingham, Johnathan Bingham, Andreas Claren, Mick Fernette, David Hoskins, Diogo Noguiera, Glynn Seal, Val Semeiks, Del Teigeler, & Mike Tenebrae.

Its in the second half of the adventure where events turn into a Lovecraftian Jack Kirby adventure experience. The PC's come into conflict with some truly dire & utterly dangerous alien powers endemic to Hyperborea. 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' takes on a life of its own as an adventure drawing the party into high level NPC situations that the players are not going to be expecting. Not only does this adventure draw the party of adventurers in with material, puzzles, & Hyperborean weirdness but like many other AS&SH modules there's lots of adventure tidbits the DM can fold back in for other campaign adventures. Within 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' there are the hordes of NPC's, locations, personalities, monsters,etc. can be used in other Astonishing Swordmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventures when the events of the module conclude. So there's a ton of utility within the module I feel.

If you were to place 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' in an OSR AS&SH that was using classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons modules which series of classic modules might you as a dungeon master pair it with? Personally I'd use 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' with the classic A1-4 The Scourage of the Slave Lords.

One of the main NPC's within the module would make a formiable addition to the ranks of the Slavers allowing 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' to be used as a side adventure. This would take years of play to come to pass but with a bit of Viking spit & Pulp barbarian polish A1-4 The Scourage of the Slave Lords could take on an even harder Sword & Sorcery edge to complement 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' Jeffrey P. Talanian brings his usual level of quality writing & clever design that we've seen in other adventures & modules within the AS&SH line. All in all I felt very excited to have my copy of the 'The Sea-Wolf's Daughter' & I feel that it is not only a worth addition to the AS&SH fine family of products but one that I think you'll be glad to own. I think its worth a five out of five in my opinion because it maintains the level of quality & solid design that we've come to expect outta of North Wind Adventures. Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More OSR & Old
School? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sea-Wolf's Daughter
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AS&SH Rogues Gallery II
by Robert N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2019 12:51:07

Good group of pregen characters for one-shots or cons.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AS&SH Rogues Gallery II
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Rats in the Walls and Other Perils
by Robert N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2019 16:29:24

Great set of short adventures you can string together to start your AS&SH campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rats in the Walls and Other Perils
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Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2019 13:53:43

This is the newest version of the AS&SH game and there are few notable differences between it and the first edition, but it is still the same fun game from Jeffrey Talanian and the sorcerers over at North Wind Adventures.

I will be reviewing both the PDF and the physical copy. I purchased these via the Kickstarter a while back so no review was expected or asked for.

Where to begin with this massive tome? Well, let's talk about the book itself. The book is massive at 622 pages. The covers are full color and the interior art is a combination of mostly black & white with some new full-color pages; most to designate larger sections of the book.

Some of the art and text is held over from the First Edition, but since this book is designed as a replacement that's fine with me really. It is more than that too.

AS&SH2e is a complete game. Everything you need except for dice is here. There are player's sections and a game master section. I will work through them all.

Volume I: Swordsmen & Sorcerers covers character creation. We have the same basic material we see in all games, what is an RPG, how to play, dice, how to generate stats and so on. I gloss over it here because I know my readers know all of this but to a newcomer to the game these sections are written with a lot of clarity. I do think that most people coming to this game will be coming from other RPGs, but this is still good material. The bulk of this volume (over 120 pages) is devoted to classes. We still have our Basic Four; Fighter, Magician, Cleric, and Theif. Each also gets a number of subclasses. Fighters get Barbarian, Berserker, Cataphract, Paladin, Ranger, and Warlock with the addition of a new to this edition Huntsman. The Magician has Illusionist, Necromancer, Pyromancer, and Witch. with the new to this edition Cyromancer (a new favorite of mine). The Cleric has the Druid, Monk, Priest, and Shaman and the new Runegraver. Finally, the Thief has the Assassin, Bard, Legerdemainist, Scout and the new Purloiner. Each subclass is very much like it's parent classes with some changes. The classes look pretty well balanced. The new classes also feel right with the Cryomancer, Huntsman, and Runegraver falling into the "why didn't think of these in 1st ed, they are so obvious!" category.

Each class has a "Fighting Ability" and a "Magic Ability" which relates to attacks. So yes, even magicians can get a little better in combat as they go up in level. It's a great little shorthand and works great. So a 4th level Fighter has a fighting ability of 4. A 4th level magician still only has a fighting ability of 1 and a cleric 3 and thief 3. Subclasses can and do vary.

AC is descending (like old school games), BUT with the Fighting Ability stat it could be converted to an ascending AC easily.

Races are dealt with next. They include Amazons, Atlanteans, Esquimaux, Hyperboreans, Ixians, Kelts, Kimmerians, Lemurians, Picts, and Vikings along with the catch-all "Common" race of man. No elves or dwarves here. Alignment is a simpler affair of Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Good, Chaotic Evil and Neutral.

There are background skills and weapon skills. Also listed are some gods and plenty of equipment.

Volume II: Sorcery deals with all the spells of the various spellcasting classes. At a little over 80 pages, there are a lot of spells here. Even more impressive when you consider that the highest level spell is only Sixth level.

Volume III: Adventure & Combat covers the next 60 or so pages of what is essentially the Player's section. It deals with combat in all its forms. So combat, mass combat, saves and conditions. Siege combat, strongholds, waterborne adventures, and combat. A great collection really of some of the "Best of" ideas I have seen in many games, but it all works really nice here. It has been expanded on from the 1st edition.

Now there are some differences here between AS&SH and say "Normal" or "Standard" D&D. There are things like group intitative, the Fighting Ability figures more in than actually level and others. Please be sure to read this section carefully when running your first game.

Volume IV: Bestiary kicks off what is the Referee's section. Now it is no secret I love monster books so for the next 130 pages we get all sorts of monsters. The format is most similar to Basic or Labyrinth Lord, and it is full of the usual suspects with some Lovecraftian Horrors, and even remnants of alien and bygone ages. "Demons" are here, but no devils. I know NorthWind has a Player's book out now, but a Monster book would also be fantastic. Thankfully nearly every Clone or OSR monster book can be used with this with minor tweaks.

Volume V: Treasure covers the next 50 or so pages. Among the magic items are things like Radium Pistols and other sc-fi artifacts. Very pulpy. It also includes some rules on scribing spell and protection scrolls. There is even a small section on Alchemy in Hyperborea. Very useful to have really.

Volume VI: Hyperborea Gazetteer is our last volume. It is a great bit that I can easily drop into my game. The lands are a pastiche of Howard, Vance, Lovecraft, and Smith. If these names mean anything to you then you know, or have an idea, of what you are going to get here. This section has been greatly expanded from the previous edition. Included here are the gods again and a little more on religion. Basically you get the idea that gods are either something you swear by (or to) or get sacrificed to by crazy cultists. So yeah, you know I am a fan.

Appendix A: Referee Advice is just that. One page and straight to the point. Appendix B: Weather in Hyperborea. You mean it does more than snow? Charts that help you figure out the temperature and conditions at any given time. Also useful for other games. Appendix C: Rogues Gallery. Some NPCs, or what I guess we could call the Iconics of AS&SH. All are easily recognizable from the art in the book. No iconic witch though...hmmm. All are listed at 1st, 5th and 9th levels. Appendix D: Introductory Setting. This gives us the Town of Swampgate. It's a pretty robust setting with some adventure keyed in.

I have said it once, but I will repeat it here. Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is hands down one of my most favorite retro-clone/OSR/Old-School games.

For me, it is another example of striking the perfect balance between B/X D&D and AD&D1. This one leans more towards the AD&D side of the spectrum, but the power level, the grit, the overall vibe is far more B/X. THEN you add in material from Lovecraft, Howard and Clark Ashton Smith? Well, that is the perfect icing on the cake really.

Of course, it is nearly perfect out of the box, but it can also lend itself to so much more than what is given us to use between the covers. I have run Zothique games and Pellucidar style ones as well where all of Hyperborea was either one continent in the far future or underground, inside hollow earth (respectively).

The book is as attractive as it is huge.

I really can't recommend this book and game enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition)
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Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual
by Zargothrax M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2019 05:57:59

Very glad to have this resource for my players, in both PDF and physical form. The core rulebook clocks in at over 600 pages, so having a slim player-side resource is fantastic — 'specially for those trying to sell AS&SH as similar to the 0riginal and Basic versions of "the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game."



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Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual
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Rats in the Walls and Other Perils
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2019 22:18:59

"Rats in the Walls”: A dockside tavern in Khromarium is plagued by rats of a most unusual breed. These abominable rodents have ruined the tavern keeper’s business and his life. The man is desperate, and he offers a substantial reward for the elimination of his horrific problem." So about a week ago during the last snow storm I emailed Jeffrey Talianin about grabbing a copy of the updated Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventure The Rats In The Wall & Other Perils. Boy I'm glad I did! There are several different things right off the bat about this pdf. First of all every adventure featured in this pdf is centered the Hyperborean city of Khromarium. Next is the fact that the lay out & cartography is light years ahead of the first edition adventure. In fact let's not touch on that other version of Rats in The Wall again. There are in fact three adventures Rats in the Walls, Chainsaw’s “The Brazen Bull”, and “The Lamia’s Heart”, by Jeffrey P. Talanian. (An early draft of the latter was published in the AFS fanzine.) Now Rats In The Walls is named after the controversial HP Lovecraft story but shares only a few adventure elements of its name sake. What the adventure does instead is to place 1st level AS&SH PC's at ground zero & to keep the adventure pressure up. The real star of Rats In The Walls & Other Perils is the city state of Khromarium. Khromarium feels like your wandering around someone else's Sword & Sorcery kingdom that your adventurers have inherited right after they died in their sleep. Elements of this adventure don't feel real but not in a bad way. There is a nightmare like quality about these adventures. Even though Rats In The Walls is only a first level adventure this isn't a first level you really want your PC's to screw up on. They will die rather badly. The adventure is well done & really brings home the madness of the AS&SH's Khromarium campaign setting. If Rats in the Wall is the introductory travelogue into the world setting of Hyperborea's capital city. Then 'The Brazen Bull' is the weird 'Heavy Metal' kid in the corner of the school bus.

"“The Brazen Bull”: Whilst traversing one of the seedier neighbourhoods of Khromarium, your party are solicited by a greasy-haired Pict. He offers to sell you a sheaf of magical lotus that allows one to see the future or to brew potions that empower the imbiber with sorcery. He beckons you to follow him into a dilapidated building...."

Here the player's PC's are brought into the mind warping effects of the world of Hyperborea right in the city state center of the action. This adventure is like the side streets of a 70's used Sword & Sorcery paperback story brought into focus into the interior of the adventure. This one doesn't over explain every single element & there's room here to really customize the Brazen Bull for your own AS&SH adventure. I like the adventure elements & the bring your own death vibe to The Brazen Bull. So far these are the adventures that I wished had been used for the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyberborea second edition rule book.The adventures feel real & solidly like they belong in AS&SH's world setting without being too heavy handed.
Thieves & purloiners are a must in the 'Brazen Bull' & besides the obvious uses. The thieves guild is vitally important to the success or death of the PC's. The fact is that these three adventures are easily exploitable for getting the characters into a heap of trouble in the back alleys of Khromarium. There's plenty of adventure hooks to grab adventurers by the throat & exploit their weaknesses to get them into the further ends of Hyperborea. I'm speaking of using some of the hooks in 'The Brazen Bull' & 'The Lamia's Heart' as lead ins for Tim Callahan's Beasts of Kraggoth Manor. The deep alleys of the city lead to the edge of sand & suffering just waiting to put the 'hold of Hell' on player's PC's. That's the beautiful part of The Rats In The Wall & Other Perils its easily customizable to fit the campaign design & refinement of the dungeon master. Even though it only clocks in at forty four pages there is enough meat here to have the dungeons & adventure elements of Rats In The Wall to fit into your game. The Hyperborean burial grounds that brim with pre–Green Death treasures is only part of this series of adventures.

Is The Rats In The Wall & Other Perils worth your time & your money?! In a word yes! This series of adventures sets the tone & ideas of Hyperborea very well. AS&SH has been using its adventures to help define the world of Hyperborea well & serves as a series of gate way adventures into this blood stained & violently soaked world.

Five out of five in my humble opinion & pick this one up!

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want More Original OSR Content?

Then Subscribe To https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rats in the Walls and Other Perils
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