"The heroes of a HYPERBOREA campaign delve the mazes and labyrinths of vast dungeons filled with horrifying monsters, lethal traps, and bewildering puzzles. They explore savage frontiers, breach hostile borderlands, probe ancient ruins, and investigate cursed tombs. They plunder for treasure and magic in a decaying world inhabited by bloodthirsty beasts and weird, otherworldly beings."
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is the premiere OSR Sword & Sorcery retroclone system until the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual has come out. This is a solid addition to the North Wind Adventures line of products.
If there is one game that sums up the OSR for me its gotta be Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. I've spent more time on this game then many others in the OSR. So I asked Jeffrey Talanian for a crack at reviewing the Rats In The Wall adventure. I received the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual along with a bunch of other stuff for review. Then I got hit with a rather nasty ice storm in Connecticut. So I settled in with my pdf copy & began writing notes.
The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual provides the players of the game a lower price point for the Sword & Sorcery world of Hyperborea. A quick overview of the three hundred page tome goes something like this;
"The Players’ Manual contains all the information that you need to play AS&SH, including character creation, spells, and adventure and combat rules. You can play a fighter, magician, cleric, or thief, or one of their many subclasses: barbarian, berserker, cataphract, huntsman, paladin, ranger, or warlock; cryomancer, illusionist, necromancer, pyromancer, or witch; druid, monk, priest, runegraver, or shaman; assassin, bard, legerdemainist, purloiner, or scout. Character races include Amazons, Atlanteans, Esquimaux, Hyperboreans, Ixians, Kelts, Kimmerians, Picts, and several lost or moribund racial derivations, plus a variety of admixtures. "
The artwork is on point & so is the layout. The system itself is like an OSR revision of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition with some tweaks making it familiar & unique in its approach to the millions of years in the future world of Hyperborea.
The artwork is outstanding & on point for this book! The character generation has lost nothing of the big red book of Hyperborea kickassery. Here the characters are solidly put together to get a hunger for adventure right out of the gateway.
Everything in this book is here to generate player characters take names & then go kick ass except the world of Hyperborea itself. That's fine since this is a player's hand book that does exactly what the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook does. It gives this solid approach to the players allowing them to use the role playing system to create their own customized creation.
This book boils down the PC creation unto its essential & solid parts. On the whole the hand book gives the players exactly the systems that are needed to play the game. The AS&SH system is squarely between the OSR & old school Dungeons & Dragons which is perfect for many people who love this game.
The quality & quantity is right up to North Wind Adventures standards. Note that this PDF comprises the first half of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition). If you have that PDF, you do not NEED this one. This PDF contains all the information that a player needs. The complete edition contains all the information that a referee and/or a player needs.
This is a solid reference for players characters to generate their own create adventurers that they want for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual is a superior player's hand book to many of the others that I've seen as a player & dungeon master. I feel that the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Players' Manual is worth your time & your money! A great addition to the OSR & the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerer's of Hyperborea.
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