Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:58 pm 
 

Apparently the art has begun to ship - mine was well-packed and undamaged. Thanks!  :)

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:14 pm 
 

Very nice, Donovan!  I see the hydra pic has changed since I saw it last :D


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:35 am 
 

grodog wrote:Very nice, Donovan!  I see the hydra pic has changed since I saw it last :D

Tweaked a little. :)

Wonder if this piece I commissioned last year made the cut? It wasn't originally created to be part of the AS&SH product, but I think they were considering using it. We'll see.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:53 pm 
 

Yes, here is the one Jeff picked out for me

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:33 pm 
 

I like that one, Doug. He must have known you were a shooter.  :wink:

I received the cleric because I'd told them at GaryCon or online somewhere that the cleric was my favorite class. The hydra and skeleton pieces were commissioned completely separatately from the Kickstarter drive and the project and, luckily, wound up being thematically consistent enough with AS&SH that Jeff decided to include them in the game books.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:07 pm 
 

It will be framed and at the Con next year as well :)

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:34 pm 
 

With all of Ian's wonderful art in this game, I'm looking forward more to seeing this than I am WotC's AD&D reprint books.

ScketreWhisp® wrote:It will be framed and at the Con next year as well :)


Hopefully it won't get knocked over by someone walking by the Aliens game :(


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:07 am 
 

grodog wrote:With all of Ian's wonderful art in this game, I'm looking forward more to seeing this than I am WotC's AD&D reprint books.

ScketreWhisp® wrote:It will be framed and at the Con next year as well :)


Hopefully it won't get knocked over by someone walking by the Aliens game :(


Yeh, those clumsy fatbeards!!!  :D

We should have enough room to spread out next year that we won't have an issue of the framed goodies being behind or near any tables.  We'll have to look a little more at the area, but one section may be dedicated to the framed posters and art, along with the Silent Auction items and other displayed lottery and auction items (perhaps we'll be able to display some of the items to be auctioned off or given away this year with the extra space).  Other sections would be for gaming tables.  Vendors will still be arranged around the room.

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:02 am 
 

The printing of the AS&SH manuals begins today!

Here is an excerpt from the Players' Manual:

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:22 pm 
 

Looks good Jeff.. Just curious, how do you see this playing? Is it an AD&D based game, in the OSRIC style, or simplified down from that? Or are there new gaming mechanics running throughout?


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:15 pm 
 

I suppose I see it as a little of both. If one is familiar with the rules and procedures of 1e/OSRIC, than AS&SH is easy to grasp. I think the same also goes for an understanding of B/X. I think the level of complexity is closer to 1e, but there is also the fact that there are, as you mention, new mechanics spread throughout the pages. Thanks for asking! Now back to work I go . . . :)


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:48 pm 
 

I'm already really looking forward to seeing the final AS&SH product, and these variations on a theme really stand out to me as what Gary envisioned DMs doing with our games:  taking the baseline rules, and building them out to reflect the campaign setting as it lives in the inner eye of the DM.  

Jeff:  how much of these rules are ones that you've played with over the years, versus that you created expressly for the AS&SH project?  I guess what I'm asking is how long is the tail of your creative process/inspiration for AS&SH:  did the project evolve out of your home campaigns and house rules, or did you go into the project with a blank slate and then try to engineer the game you wanted to design that would best represent CAS, REH, and HPL?  To some degree, those are two sides of the same Q, around when you started the creation process (and there's no right or wrong answer, of course, just curious is all :D ).


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:41 pm 
 

grodog wrote:I'm already really looking forward to seeing the final AS&SH product, and these variations on a theme really stand out to me as what Gary envisioned DMs doing with our games:  taking the baseline rules, and building them out to reflect the campaign setting as it lives in the inner eye of the DM.  


Exactly so, grodog, and I couldn't have said it any better myself. :)


Jeff:  how much of these rules are ones that you've played with over the years, versus that you created expressly for the AS&SH project?  I guess what I'm asking is how long is the tail of your creative process/inspiration for AS&SH:  did the project evolve out of your home campaigns and house rules, or did you go into the project with a blank slate and then try to engineer the game you wanted to design that would best represent CAS, REH, and HPL?  To some degree, those are two sides of the same Q, around when you started the creation process (and there's no right or wrong answer, of course, just curious is all :D ).


Allan, I actually began exploring these themes in 2001 after abandoning 2nd edition in favor of 3rd edition. I eliminated hobbits and elves and things of that sort (high fantasy elements) in an effort to attempt to capture and embrace literary influences outside of Tolkien. Don't get me wrong, I loved Tolkien, and I still do, but in gaming I got tired of gaming in his backyard, and I think the 2e Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance culture played into my jadedness.

The problem was, I disliked 3rd edition after the characters reached 5th level or so. I tried to give it another chance with 3.5e, but the game's style and play were simply not to my tastes, and I felt as though the rules were inhibiting my then campaign. By 2004 or early 2005, I decided to get back to my roots and run a Greyhawk campaign. I decided to put together my own rules set based on 1e and many of the innovations I'd come up with as a DM since 1981. In the process of researching Greyhawk, I discovered that Gygax and Kuntz were finally going to publish the Greyhawk dungeon I'd been waiting for since I was a kid. I also found out that Gary was looking for freelance developers to help flesh out Yggsburgh. I was a struggling novelist with a pile of rejection letters, so I decided to try my hand at game design. I had been writing my own adventures for years, but solely for the entertainment of my fellows.

I had never heard of Castles & Crusades, but apparently Gary was writing for the system, so I ordered the books and the Yggsburgh hardback, which I studied, and upon conclusion, I sent Gary a cover letter and a sample of some encounters that I would place in Yggsburgh. When I saw Gary Gygax's name in my inbox a few days later, I didn't want to open the email, because I was certain it was another rejection letter. I was elated to see Gary had accepted me to the Yggsburgh team, but I had to wait in reserve, in case someone else was unable to complete their city section. It happened soon enough. I worked like a dog for Gary, and I was quite a pest to him. He kept adding assignments to my workload, because I kept volunteering for more. At length I had 4 city sections, and when Gary and Rob could not resolve their differences, I was asked to co-author the big one, Castle Zagyg.

In Castle Zagyg I continued to explore some of my favorite sword-and-sorcery elements, such as Tsathoggua-like gargoyles (CAS), a Moon Pool cult (A. Merritt), and other sundries. Gary never rejected these ideas, and he seemed to really like some of my innovations to his old dungeon. He altered and tinkered with some, or in other cases directed me to make changes. Then came the sad day when Gary passed. A few short months later I was dismissed from the project, so I was back to square one -- developing my own campaign world and rules set. I really had no desire to stick with C&C, because I was not very fond of the SIEGE system. In fact, as I ran my home group through Castle Zagyg, we were playing C&C, except I had eliminated its universal task resolution and replaced it with my own rules and several 1e rules. Anyway, once I was removed from the CZ project, I had no real reason to use C&C anymore.

In 2008 I began my Hyperorea campaign, and from its play sprang the rules and setting. The setting continued to build, but the rules were in flux, as I was experimenting with a variety of methods that I found interesting. Development continued in this manner for a few years; I had a co-designer during the very early stages, but things did not work out for us. I continued to develop the game organically -- through actual game play with my friends. Also, I had a small group of trusted fellows from different corners of the globe whom I entrusted developments to, and they combed through drafts of the game and offered their candor and insights. It worked well on this small scale, and I don't regret it. I was never interested in public beta-testing.

I really have waffled on, and for that I apologize, but there really is no simple answer, Allan. I certainly did not begin with a blank slate; however, much of what the game developed into has been fleshed out from 2008 to present, through vigorous game play and experimentation, coupled with strong fascination with Gygaxian 1e gaming, and an honest love for authors such as HPL, REH, CAS, Vance, Burroughs, Merritt, Moorcock, Lieber, et al.

All that being said, the AS&SH game would not be possible were it not for the trailblazing efforts of Matt Finch and Stuart Marshall. To them I owe a debt of gratitude.

I hope I answered your question!

Cheers,
Jeff T.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:10 pm 
 

That's a fascinating back history Jeff. Makes me look forward to receiving this product even more!

It kind of sounds more dark and real monster based, than high fantasy Tolkiens elves and dwarves etc, maybe in a Lieber style? Sounds good, either way.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:52 pm 
 

Well, well, well... look what I got in the mail today!  :mrgreen:

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:36 pm 
 

Chainsaw wrote:Well, well, well... look what I got in the mail today!  :mrgreen:


Man! It looks fantastic! Can't wait to get mine!  :D

I hate waiting!  :evil:

Looks awesome! Really, really awesome!  :D

Now, I must wait....  :evil:

Thanks for posting the pics.  :D

Now, I must wait...  :evil:



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Post Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:43 pm 
 

Ghul wrote:
grodog wrote:I'm already really looking forward to seeing the final AS&SH product, and these variations on a theme really stand out to me as what Gary envisioned DMs doing with our games:  taking the baseline rules, and building them out to reflect the campaign setting as it lives in the inner eye of the DM.  


Exactly so, grodog, and I couldn't have said it any better myself. :)


Thanks :)

Ghul wrote:Allan, I actually began exploring these themes in 2001 after abandoning 2nd edition in favor of 3rd edition. I eliminated hobbits and elves and things of that sort (high fantasy elements) in an effort to attempt to capture and embrace literary influences outside of Tolkien. Don't get me wrong, I loved Tolkien, and I still do, but in gaming I got tired of gaming in his backyard, and I think the 2e Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance culture played into my jadedness.

[snip]

I really have waffled on, and for that I apologize, but there really is no simple answer, Allan. I certainly did not begin with a blank slate; however, much of what the game developed into has been fleshed out from 2008 to present, through vigorous game play and experimentation, coupled with strong fascination with Gygaxian 1e gaming, and an honest love for authors such as HPL, REH, CAS, Vance, Burroughs, Merritt, Moorcock, Lieber, et al.


Thank you for your lengthy reply, Jeff:  I owe you a beer when we're at GaryCon next!  I definitely got the strong literary vibe from your games at GaryCon, in which the inspirations shine through clearly (with Ian's art always as a great accompaniment too!).  

Ghul wrote:In 2008 I began my Hyperorea campaign, and from its play sprang the rules and setting. The setting continued to build, but the rules were in flux, as I was experimenting with a variety of methods that I found interesting. Development continued in this manner for a few years; I had a co-designer during the very early stages, but things did not work out for us. I continued to develop the game organically -- through actual game play with my friends. Also, I had a small group of trusted fellows from different corners of the globe whom I entrusted developments to, and they combed through drafts of the game and offered their candor and insights. It worked well on this small scale, and I don't regret it. I was never interested in public beta-testing.


Sounds like a good process, and I'm looking forward to kicking the tires a bit more when the box arrives!

Ghul wrote:I hope I answered your question!


Absolutely, thanks muchly.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:50 am 
 

chainsaw -- Thanks for the great pictures, chainsaw! You did a wonderful job capturing the game and its contents. You are a prince among men . . . or something of the sort!

grodog -- Glad to help. I think I was overtired when I replied, because I get a headache looking at my own post now. :)

ashmire -- Exactly so. More sword-and-sorcery, with bits of horror, and lost Atlantean technologies of a bygone age. Just a slight shift from the standard RPG high fantasy genre, but enough to (I hope!) provide a different mood.  

........................

Fellows, please be patient as I continue to print, bind, collate, and ship. This is going to be done in piecemeal over the next month, and I will be sending out multiple batches of games per week. When your package has mailed, you will know, because I will email you. Thank you! And please accept my apologies that the process is not faster. This really is a home-grown operation. Thank you!

Cheers,
Jeff T.


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