I’ve been on an Astonishing Swordsmen &Sorcerers of Hyperborea kick ever since I picked it up during RPGNow’s GM Week Sale (Brought to my attention by +Erik Tenkar). It first caught my eye at the unveiling of the Gygax magazine at the Brooklyn Strategist, and hasn’t really left. It didn’t help that my wife found a dirt cheap copy of the Mongoose Conan RPG at a thrift store for dirt cheap. So, I’ve got AS&SH now and I’ve been reading it for about the last two weeks and I really, really dig it. It’s basically D&D houseruled the way I want it to be. That means it edges out Adventures Dark & Deep and Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox thanks to the minimal fiddling I’d have to do with it. Basically, anything I want to do with it is setting and fluff, not system.
So what do I want to do with it? Two words:
I’ve made no secret of my love for Greyhawk. It’s pretty much what I look for and love in a D&D trope setting. The Old World of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, particularly the first edition version, has a pretty high place in my heart, but it still doesn’t compete with that original D&D setting. I’ve tried Forgotten Realms (and only really enjoy the Grey Box version, from the Avatar Crisis on, it just got too cartoony for me), Dragonlance, Ravenloft, and even third-party settings like the Judge’s Guild Wilderlands or Glorantha, but none of them ever really resonated the way Greyhawk did.
I probably never would have considered reconciling Greyhawk and a Hyborean style D&D game but for +Chris Kutalik's post on the Hill Cantons describing the “HowlingEmptiness of the World of Greyhawk.” While +Joseph Bloch (one of my go-to guys for all things Greyhawk as well as the author of the excellent Adventures Dark & Deep) disagreeswith Chris’s assessment, I did find the article “Population and Power Scales inGreyhawk” on Canonfire, which backs up Chris’s ideas and provides a neat map as an example of how it would look.
So, I decided to make Hyborean Greyhawk my new project. This blog will serve as the notebook of that project, which may or may not culminate in something downloadable.