• The window for editing your posts has been extended from 48 hours to about two weeks or so. Please report any problems with this in Trouble Tickets.

OSR Sword & Sorcery Resources

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
#11
Crypts & Things is loaded with S&S goodness.

Also Flatland Games is working on an S&S version of Beyond the Wall. I don't know when it will be out, just that they are working on it. BtW is my favorite incarnation of the D&D rules, so I am looking forward to this one.
 

Durandal

Rampant Construct
Validated User
#13
Also Flatland Games is working on an S&S version of Beyond the Wall. I don't know when it will be out, just that they are working on it. BtW is my favorite incarnation of the D&D rules, so I am looking forward to this one.
Oh, holy crap, I am so sold on that when it drops.

I can't speak for anyone else, but Vancian magic just seems a bit too generic D&D for a sword & sorcery system.
On the one hand, I can see that. D&D has used Vancian casting since its inception and seeing it always in there beside the Tolkienesqe elements of D&D like Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings certainly makes it feel more like generic fantasyland magic than the kind of stuff we see in Howard, Lieber or Burroughs.

On the other hand, Dying Earth (and the sub-genre named for it) is a primary inspiration of Hyperborea so literally just using the Vancian casting system D&D has always used is actually pretty thematically appropriate here.

If anything, the weird part is that at some point Vancian casting became "generic" when it is a system of casting where wizards memorize metaphysical platonic ideals of spell constructs that then leak out of their mind after they're used. With most fiction being of the "a wizard cast fireball and then feints from the physically taxing nature of spell casting", the Vancian method is every bit as weird as those with a more cosmic horror angle to them. But I think when folks think S&S magic they sort of default to either Howard/Lovecraft, or they go further down the rabbit hole with sorcerers manifesting physical corruption as a byproduct of simply using the sorcery itself.

So while I can see where some folks might think a Vancian system doesn't fit a S&S-themed game, considering how much Dying Earth is an inspiration for the kind of post-apoc fantasy stuff D&D tends to do, I think it tends to work better the less Tolkien influence the setting has. In your normal medeival generic D&D fantasyland it feels more out of place to me than it does in settings like Dark Sun or Hyperborea where the S&S influences are worn more prominently on the sleeve.

Though if looking for an alternative system, Silent Legions might do the trick. It is basically OSR Call of Cthulhu and contains a Lovecraftian sorcery system that might fit the bill. Though it goes without saying that adapting it would be some amount of work, up to and including probably scrubbing all of AS&SH's default casters and replacing them whole-cloth with the Silent Legions system and perhaps a generic "Sorcerer" class ala Carcosa.
 

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
#14
I think D&D magic feels less "magical" than it did when it first came out. Vancian magic was weird and different to what most people thought of as magic when Dying Earth first came out, likewise D&D magic users didn't feel like wizards. Wizards could just do magic, they weren't limited to a few spells a day that they "memorized". I think it also took something out of magic that so many table ignored the V,S,M components of spells. Especially ignoring the material components was a great loss. Some of them gave the spells great character, like having o swallow a spider for Spider Climb, or using a ball of bat guano and suffer to cast Fireball. Questing for the components for some of the higher level spells also served as a great motivation for adventures.
 

Constantine XI

Registered User
Validated User
#16
Why do you think ASS has a weak magic system?
I think AS&SH is too like AD&D when it comes to the spellcasting system. It doesn't really (for me) capture the otherworldly nature of mind-bending, utterly alien principles which for me should be part of the sword and sorcery spellcasting paradigm. In my AS&SH games, I've restricted spell casters to Priests, Shamans, Illusionists, Necromancers and Witches. Only those Mythos (or Mythos-equivalent) deities grant spells to worshippers. All spellcasters risk corruption. Mechanically this is reflected as a save vs Spells. On a SUCCESSFUL save, the caster gains a point of corruption (the idea being that you have unlocked unknowable a,d blasphemous insights). Higher level casters are more Corruption-prone. Corruption is treated as per the Conan d20 rules, for the most part. Corrupt characters may suffer penalties (or bonuses) to reaction rolls, as determined by the DM. As a trade-off, most magic triggers a morale check against most targets (except truly monstrous/alien ones).

That's just my preference for the setting.
 

A2A

Proud Member of the Fuzz
Validated User
#17
Thanks for the suggestions so far (and I've ordered a big book of Dying Earth stories to see if it helps me reevaluate my stance on Vancian casting). AS&SH definitely gives me a 1st edition AD&D feel too - any suggestions for AD&D or compatible OSR modules and supplements that might work?
 

MonsterMash

Are you mochrieing me?
Validated User
#18
T
Crypts & Things is loaded with S&S goodness.

Also Flatland Games is working on an S&S version of Beyond the Wall. I don't know when it will be out, just that they are working on it. BtW is my favorite incarnation of the D&D rules, so I am looking forward to this one.
That sounds promising as BtW impressed me.

I'll have to check out Crypts & Things too.
 
Top Bottom