Monday, April 12, 2010
Savage Swords of Athanor
On Friday I received my latest Lulu purchase in the mail-box (always a great way to end the week), Doug Easterly's Savage Swords of Athanor available through Lulu.
Now the thing I really love about this Old School Revival are all the booklets, downloads and publications that other gamers are putting out for both free and pay. Some of my favorites would be peoples house-rules and campaign worlds.
As you may know, I tend to cherry pick the best of peoples house rules out there and fit them to my own campaign. So I love gathering these books up and getting fresh ideas.
Savage Swords is a great little booklet. Easterly put together a very creative, pulpy, planetary romance world in the vein of Burroughs' Mars stories using the Swords & Wizardry White Box as it's foundation. In just 63 pages Easterly gives a perfect broad-stroke of this hex based planetary setting and the city state of Zamora. He doesn't weigh the book down with needless detail but gives you just the right amount of information for the GM to jump in and color this savage world.
Savage Swords of Athanor is broken up into 3 familiar sections, Men and Magic, Monsters and Treasures, and Underworld & Wilderness Adventures which bring to mind the original Little Brown Books. These sections cover everything from new alien races, mutations, Treasures of the Ancients, The City State of Zamora, Planetary Encounters, a mild skill system, details of the planet Athanor, adventure hooks and much, much more all packed into 63 pages. The book also suggests what to remove from the standard Swords & Wizardry rules (races, classes and monsters) to bring it in line with the world of Athanor.
As with any campaign world that takes the fantasy concept outside of the 'comfortable' classic setting of elves, dwarves, and wizards, there is always that curve of getting GM and player up to speed with the extra fantastic world setting, culture and races. Easterly realizes that and provides the familiar character type of Earthman to help players jump into the Savage World of Athanor.
If you love deep pulpy campaign worlds settings I would highly recommend Doug Easterly's Savage Swords of Arthanor. At a concise 63 pages it's a perfect length to get into a fantastic fantasy world. I plan on transporting my current players there sometime in the near future. What better way to keep them on their toes!