Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Another RPG bundle offer - Hyperborea

Another one I don't know at all, which seems to be about sword and sorcery adventures in the style of Robert E. Howard etc.:

Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess"This Hyperborea Bundle presents the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea sword-and-sorcery FRPG from North Wind Adventures. The vividly dangerous, edge-of-the-world Hyperborea campaign setting takes inspiration from the weird fiction of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Michael Moorcock, and many others. Capturing the spirit of the original D&D and AD&D rules sets, AS&SH is compatible with old-school retro-clones such as OSRIC and Swords & Wizardry. Hyperborea designer Jeffrey Talanian started his game design career working with no less than Gary Gygax, on the Castle Zagyg line Gygax published through Troll Lord Games under his "Trigee Enterprises" imprint (2005-2008). In 2008 Jeff started North Wind Adventures to publish his own modules such as Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent. He published AS&SH First Edition in 2012. The October 2016 AS&SH 2E Kickstarter (897 backers, US$68K) was one of a procession of successful North Wind campaigns in May 2015, March 2018, October 2018, and July 2019.

In the vast geography of D&D retro-clones Hyperborea is, fittingly, an outlier. Though built in the traditional way (3d6 rolls for the usual six attributes, Fighter-Magician-Cleric-Thief), all player characters are human (no dwarves or elves), from an array of offbeat subclasses, flavorful cultures, and religions drawn from ancient, primeval, and Mythos sources. There's a lot of the Mythos in Hyperborea. The game's Hyperborea setting derives from Smith's Hyperborean cycle more than from Greek legend or modern estoteric thought. (As for December's Gotye Wokeuplikethis Hyperborea meme, not so much.) AS&SH focuses on a pulpish sword-and-sorcery experience, where mighty-thewed heroes and heroines match steel against sorcery, sorcery against steel as they plunder treasure and magic in a decaying world.

Timothy S. Brannan, reviewing AS&SH 2E on, called it "hands down one of my most favorite retro-clone/OSR/Old-School games." For him the game is "the perfect balance between B/X D&D and AD&D 1E. 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. [...] 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 the hollow Earth."

Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Lost Treasure of AtlantisThis all-new offer presents the massive AS&SH Second Edition rulebook (2017) along with many exotic adventure modules that take your heroic cataphracts, pyromancers, runegravers, purloiners, legerdemainists, and sublunary Gnoph-Yikks from 1st level all the way to 7th and beyond. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity selected by Jeffrey Talanian of North Wind Adventures, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude Hospital advances cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$104. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all three titles in our Core Collection (retail value $34) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 622-page AS&SH Second Edition core rulebook (retail price $19), Rogues Gallery II with pregenerated player characters (retail $5), and the Referee's Screen (retail $10).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Adventure Collection with seven ready-to-play modules worth an additional $70, including Rats in the Walls and Other Perils, The Anthropophagi of Xambaala, Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes, The Beasts of Kraggoth Manor, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess, The Lost Treasure of Atlantis, and The Sea-Wolf's Daughter (retail $10 apiece)."

I'm really not in the market for this sort of setting at present, but it does look like you get quite a lot for your money. It looks like it's written as a relatively low level campaign setting - only human characters and the highest level mentioned in the descriptions of the modules is Level 7 - which means that by and large player characters won't be unstoppable killing machines, at least at first. This is probably a good idea for a swords and sorcery campaign, where there needs to be an occasional chance that characters will actually be killed.

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Tags: rpg

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