[borderline OT] Lankhmar: any good?
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:23 pm 
 

I'm currently reading through the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories for the first time (sacrilege, I know; I'm not sure why I never read them before), and I'm really enjoying them. Which leads me to wonder if the TSR-branded Lankhmar products would be worth pursuing?

I know less than zero about the entire product line. It was all 2e stuff, right? Would there be a good place to begin? One thing I wouldn't mind having is a map of either Lankhmar or Nehwon (or both) — is there a product with a good map(s)?

Any thoughts would be appreciated; thanks in advance.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:28 pm 
 

Stop reading when you finish with the older set of novels.  Don't read the last one he wrote.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:23 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Stop reading when you finish with the older set of novels.  Don't read the last one he wrote.


I dont feel like looking it up.  Which book are you referring to?  :P

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:48 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:
I dont feel like looking it up.  Which book are you referring to?  :P


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:57 pm 
 

I think there are only about 6 Lankhmar items and they are all second edition. But they have that first ed feel to them. From what I have seen they are far and away the best second edition items, as a whole.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:10 pm 
 

There are about a dozen Lankhmar products.  Most were produced for 2nd edition, but three of them are 1st edition.

Lankhmar, City of Adventure
CA1 Swords of the Undercity
CA2 Swords of Deceit

http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/lm/lm.htm

TSR also produced a Lankhmar boardgame in the 70's.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:12 pm 
 

NetRodent wrote:There are about a dozen Lankhmar products.  Most were produced for 2nd edition, but three of them are 1st edition.

Lankhmar, City of Adventure
CA1 Swords of the Undercity
CA2 Swords of Deceit

Okay, I like that. Maybe I'll start there. Anything with any maps?

Thanks for the answers so far.

(My Heroic Worlds has gone missing, BTW ... but I'm looking)

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:15 pm 
 

If you're looking for a map, the 1st and 2nd editions of City of Adventure come with a nice full color map.  The 1st edition also comes with a booklet of geomorphs.  I'd guess the boxed set also has maps, but I don't own a copy (yet).


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:24 am 
 

I have most of the Lankhmar stuff. It is one of the last things I played before leaving Uni - we enjoyed it immensely. The first real urban adventuring with Thieves and Guilds etc.

I must echo MShipley above. Don't bother with the last book. Fritz Lieber devolved into a dirty old man and the book is full of his weird fantasies. I hated the last book so much, I gave all my Fritz Leiber books away.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:38 am 
 

Lankhmar is awesome. Very 1st edition feel to it, and it's very different from run-of-the-mill D&D. Honestly, I didn't enjoy the novels a whole lot (the writing was poor), but the setting itself is fantastic.

City of Adventure is probably the easiest place to start. I fell in love with Lankhmar after buying Nehwon as a kid, not realizing it was any different than any other AD&D module. Glad I 'messed up' :)

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:59 am 
 

I know that this is the Acaeum and all - so that it is really meant to be about D&D, but if you are thinking of playing in the Lankhmar setting I would recommend using Rolemaster rules (or MERP if you aren't that in love with tables).  Or possibly a bastard variant (e.g. using Rolemaster combat and converted AD&D spells).  The AD&D settings are worth getting for detail and atmosphere but...

...while our beloved combat system* is great for all-round Giant-thwacking, Dragon slaying and Orc-Horde decimating it is less effective in giving you that city street cutthroat, one on one, dicing with death with only a dagger to save you combat excitement.  







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* NOTE: this is not intended to be a comment about the relative verisimilitude of any rpg combat systems.  We all know that no rpg combat system comes close to representing real-life combat...  except perhaps Chivalry and Sorcery in that the system was so awful, byzantine and convoluted that it induced true horror in players and DMs - perhaps revealing to us just how awful war really can be (OK, the metaphor kind of breaks down at this point, but I was having fun...  :wink: )


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:19 am 
 

The Lankhmar board game is fun, and well-worth picking up.  The map paper is of the same wonderful quality as those in the 1975 Dungeon and in EPT (texoprint or dexoprint or something like that IIRC Rob's comments properly).  

With respect to the game system, I've always thought that running Lankhmar using Lace & Steel rules would be cool, but I haven't ever gotten around to getting a copy (even though it's back in print, or was as of a few years ago) to see how well it would really work.  En Garde might also be OK, but I haven't perused the copy I got in Tim Kask's stuff awhile ago  :oops:


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:30 am 
 

Simply some of the best urban modules ever produced by TSR.  Easy to collect and to obtain a full collection.

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:30 pm 
 

As I recall, the Lankhmar city map pissed me off by having blank spaces in it "for the dungeon master" or some other stupid thing.

If I wanted blank spaces, I could purchase entire reams of cheap paper full of blank spaces.

Next year, I think I am going to market the ultimate city adventure...and it will be a large piece of paper with a circle drawn on it, "for the dungeon master."   :x


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:07 pm 
 

Sliding into the land of off-topic:

I bought a CD last night and was surprised to see the following in the liner notes:

"and a special dedication to Fritz Leiber for my composition of CURSED - may Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser sail frozen seas, roam exotic lands and despoil not so frozen yet thrice as exotic women forever...!"

The CD is the latest album from the thrash-metal band Sadus, and the above thanks is from Steve DiGiorgio, who has played fretless bass for Autopsy, Death, Sadus, Vintersorg, and others.

I don't have access to my Lankhmar books, but I remember bits and pieces of the story upon which the Steve's song is based.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:15 pm 
 

IMO If you're a tallented DM then Lankhmar is shite, go to JG. If you're not that good a DM then there may be something in it for you.


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:41 pm 
 

Lankhmar is a peculiar setting. Not excessively fantasy, it is more like a slum setting, dark and very much stealth-oriented. Much like playing in Westgate or Ravens Bluff in the Forgotten Realms, if you ever played those cities. Myself, I never played it, but I don't think it's bad.

Collecting it is a piece of cake. There are a total of 14 items, the only one which fetches slightly high prices is the boxed set, but you can find it in any store which has some OOP stuff (it is one of the most common unsold items) for 20 dollars or less. Everything else is easy and cheap and generally goes below 10 dollars.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:20 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:IMO If you're a tallented DM then Lankhmar is shite, go to JG. If you're not that good a DM then there may be something in it for you.


:lol: Huh? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A good DM could do a lot with the flavour and world of Lankhmar. I don't know how Lankhmar would suddenly be worse as a setting because it's being run by a good DM, lol.

I don't see how JG is involved in any way. Any DM, good or bad, could use JG. A bad DM is going to have a lot of empty room and no descriptions with JG stuff, and a good DM is going to have made it into a full adventure by adding stuff to it. I'm not a big fan of JG, but perhaps I've been reading the wrong stuff. All the adventures I've read have basically been maps, encounter tables, and usually just one-line descriptions of rooms. There's often some really good back story stuff, but not much to the actual adventures themselves. Lankhmar stuff has very, very good backstories for all the adventures, and the modules are pretty decent as far as completeness and the ability to customize. I'd put Newhon up against any module out there, new or old, in terms of story and fun gameplay.

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:21 am 
 

guerret wrote:Collecting it is a piece of cake.


Yeah, it's something that sits in a store for a long, long while, as I know from first-hand experience, heheh. Be really careful buying stuff though - make sure things come with the maps. I've had an inordinate amount of Lankhmar stuff pass through my hands that was mapless.

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