Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Adventures

In my inbox today, were links to the three ASSH adventures from the recent Kickstarter. I have pledged for the physical copies, but it was nice to take a peek at the digital versions. The titles include Beneath the Comet by Ben Ball, Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes by the master himself — +Jeff Talanian, and Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess by +Joe Salvador. This is not a "review" per se, because I have not spent sufficient time to make any weighted or informed comment about the adventures, but I will say that first impressions matter. These adventures are all beautifully presented, and exceedingly topical to Jeff's Hyperborean setting. +MonkeyBlood Design have provided some excellent cartography, and the ink and colour work of Jonathan and Daisy Bingham is very distinctive. I like that each adventure expands on the core setting in their own way, presenting additional perspectives and intrigue to an already flavourful milieu (particularly the eastern slanting of Joe's Forgotten Fane adventure). While I really enjoyed running Jeff's previous offerings — Rats in the Walls and Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent — these new adventures feel distinctively more ASSH. What do I mean by this? I mean the brand and the setting seems to have come of age. Both previous adventures had the grimdark grittiness of Jeff's Hyperborea, but these new adventures widen the scope and intention of the ASSH game into something greater and more diverse. Of course, these games can be run with your poison of choice (AD&D, S&W, OSRIC, whatever) but I feel like they provide a distinctive Hyperborean experience on their own. Pick one, or all, up from North Wind Adventures